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Hurricanes, Floods and Fires in Louisiana History

National Hurricane Center

National Weather Service River Forecast Center - Lower Mississippi RFC - Updated Each Wednesday

Lower Mississippi River - Major Flooding Occuring or Expected - Updated Daily

Free Hurricane Tracking Chart - PDF Format

See Black Cloud and Isaac's Storm on the Book's Page

See Encyclopaedia of hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones on the Book's Page

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FIRES

Great NO Fire of March 21, 1788
Great NO Fire of Dec. 8, 1794
October 10, 1899 - Great Fire of New Iberia, LA

FLOODS

Flood of July 1788
Sauve's Crevasse of 1849 [external link]
Spring 1874 - Great Mississippi River Flood

Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927

HURRICANES

October 23, 1527
1711
1717
September 11, 1721
September 22-24, 1722
September 11 & 18, 1740
September 23, 1740
September 4th, 1766
Jan. 17 & 18, 1768 - Intense cold froze the MR!
August 31st-September 4, 1772
1776
October 7-10, 1778
August 18, 1779
October 7-10, 1779
August 24, 1780
August 23, 1781
August 1793
August 31-September 1, 1794
August 1800

1811
August 19-20, 1812
August 19, 1813
July 25-28, 1819
September 15-17, 1821
August 16-17, 1831
August 28-29, 1831
October 6-7, 1837
September 14-17, 1839
June 19-23, 1840
June 11-15, 1844
April 3-4, 1846
August 26, 1852
September 15-16, 1855

August 10-12, 1856 - Last Island Annihilated! Note: Isle Derniere [Last Island] was a resort for the rich and powerful so many influential persons died there.  See Last Island: those who died and survived.
1860: Number 1, August 11
1860: Number 2, September 14-15
1860: Number 3, October 2-3
September 13, 1865
October 22-23, 1865

July 12-13, 1866
August 15-18, 1866

October 2-6, 1867
October 1-3, 1868

June 2-3, 1871
June 8-9, 1871
October 1-4, 1871
September 17-18, 1875
August 22-23, 1879
September 1, 1879
September 7, 1882
September 14, 1882
June 13-14, 1886
October 11-13, 1886
October 16-19, 1887
August 18-20, 1888
1892 - mid-September
September 6-8, 1893
October 1-2, 1893 [Cheniere)
September 12, 1897
September 8, 1900 - Hurricane that destroyed Galveston, TX - See Isaac's Storm
August 14, 1901

September 26, 1906
July 21, 1909

September 20, 1909
August 15-17, 1915
September 29, 1915
October 18, 1916
August 6, 1918
September 11-14, 1919
October 16, 1923 [see info on Schooner Rachel]
August 25-27, 1926
September 16, 1928
July 22-25, 1933
June 16, 1934
August 7, 1940
September 22-24, 1941
July 25, 1943

September 15-19, 1943
August 22, 1947

September 3-4, 1948
September 24, 1956 (Flossy)
June 27, 1957 (Audrey)

September 15, 1960 (Ethel)
September 10-12, 1961 (Carla)
October 2-3, 1964 (Hilda)
September 9-10, 1965 (Betsy)
August 17-18, 1969 (Camille)
September 16, 1971 (Edith)
September 7-8, 1974 (Carmen)
July 11, 1979 (Bob)
August 16, 1985 (Danny)
September 2, 1985 (Elena)
October 27-31, 1985 (Juan)
June 26, 1986 (Bonnie)
September 9, 1988 (Florence)
September 15-19, 1988 (Gilbert)
August 26th, 1992 (Andrew)
October 4th, 1995 (Opal)
October 5-8th, 1996 (Josephine)
July 1997 (another Danny)
Sept. 10-14, 1998: Hurricane Frances
Sept. 27-28, 1998: Hurricane Georges
October 3, 2002, Hurricane Lili
August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina
September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita
September 13, 2007, Hurricane Humberto
August 31, 2008, Hurricane Gustav
Sept. 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike
Nov. 10, 2009, Hurricane Ida
August 28-29, 2012 - Hurricane Isaac [2012]

Credit to National Weather Service

2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season
2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season
2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season
2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Beginning in 1519, Spanish conquistadors began plundering the New World for their motherland.. Names such as Ponce de Leon, Fernando Cortes, and Coronado began exploring regions surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. As they found treasure, a "quinto" (Spanish for one-fifth) of their earnings were sent to the king.

October 23rd, 1527: A nemesis of Cortes was a man by the name of Panifo de Narvaez. His luck was always bad...this mission to Florida was no exception. When forced to leave due to hunger and hostile natives, his five boats of less than 250 men sailed westward, hugging the northern Gulf coast. As they were passing the Mouth of the Mississippi, a storm caught the barges and "tossed them like driftwood" (Chipman). This occurred 155 years before La Salle made his historic trip down the Mississippi.

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1711 New Orleans to Pensacola: A powerful storm struck the fledgling colonies at Vieux Biloxi, (the first French foothold in the Louisiana territory established in 1699 at what is now Ocean Springs, MS), New Orleans, and Mobile. It caused great damage there, as well as to the Spanish colony in Pensacola.

1717 - One of the worst hurricanes in colonial history struck Mobile and the Gulf Coast. At the time, Mobile was the Capitol of Louisiana. The port of Dauphin Island was closed by a sand bar, and Mobile was left without a safe anchorage for ships. The lower bay was deep enough for ocean-going ships, but its mouth was also closed by a sand bar. [Source: The Story of Mobile by Caldwell Delaney, p. 28]

September 11, 1721: A great Hurricane flooded the German Coast villages and damaged New Orleans

September 22-24th, 1722: This is the first well documented hurricane to have hit Louisiana. It initially moved through the Lesser Antilles on September 11th, later making landfall west of the Mouth of the Mississippi on the 23rd, then passing through Central Louisiana. This same storm most likely re-curved northeast into South Carolina, as they reported 3 days of flooding rains around the 27th. Hurricane force winds lasted 15 hours beginning on the night of the 22nd. Storm surges were reported to be 3 ft. at Bayou St. John and 8 ft. in the Mississippi River. Thirty six huts were destroyed during the storm, which included the  area hospital. These buildings were hastily constructed in 1717-18 when New Orleans was initially selected to be the capital of the Louisiana Company. The St. Louis church was destroyed. This storm was responsible for moving the old site of Mobile from 27 miles north of the mouth of the Mobile River to its present day site. Ships were reported to have been sunk in the harbor of New Orleans and areas lakes as well. Three pirogues loaded with fowl, corn, and other goods were lost up towards the Tensas.

In 1718, a 3 foot high levee protected New Orleans from both river and tidal overflow. This proved inadequate, as older area settlements used the devastation of New Orleans in the "Great Hurricane of 1722" as final proof of that city's unsuitability as the capital of Louisiana, as it followed a great flood by only 3 years.  A "rude little fort" was built in the marshes near the Mouth of the Mississippi, a location discovered by Sieur de la Salle in 1682 and inhabited by 1699. It was named La Balize, French for "The Seamark". 

In 1721, the first lighthouse-type structure, a wooden pyramid rising 62 feet out of the muck, was constructed. It is considered one of the oldest settlements within the current boundaries of Louisiana (Cipra 132-133).

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September 11 & 18, 1740: Hurricanes hit Mobile & Dauphine Island. These two hurricanes, together with the hurricane of Sept. 23, 1740, caused major damages to the LA Colony. The hurricanes were described in a dispatch dated Feb. 25, 1741, from Beauchamp, the Commander of Mobile. See pages 514-515 of the History of Louisiana by Gayarré.

September 23, 1740: Hurricane struck Mouth of the Mississippi River. It destroyed a large portion of the crops and left many colonists without shelter. The storm, along with others during the 1740's, removed all traces of the original habitation of La Balize. An island named San Carlos surfaced, and became the new site of the Balize.

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September 4th, 1766: Hurricane strikes Texas coast near Galveston, yet also plays a role in Early Louisiana History. The ship Constante was lost in the storm about 45 miles east of Calcasieu Pass. The nearby bayou was named "Bayu del Constante", or Constance Bayou (Morgan). See Texas Hurricane History for more on this storm. 

Jan. 17 & 18, 1768: According to the History of Louisiana by Francois-Xavier Martin, p. 201, on the seventeenth and eighteenth of January, 1768, the most intense cold, of which there is any remembrance, was felt in Louisiana. The river was frozen before New Orleans for several yards, on both sides. The orange trees were destroyed thoughout the province.

August 31st-September 4th, 1772: Hurricane originating near Jamaica on the 28th of August moved north and northwest into the Central Gulf Coast just west of Mobile. Its effects were far reaching. In Pensacola, it destroyed most of the wharves. The most devastation occurred in the vicinity of Mobile and the Pasca Oocola River. All shipping at the Mouth of the Mississippi was driven into the marshes. this included the ship El Principe de Orange from which only 6 survived. Being on the west side of this storm, the worst inundation occurred at the back of the Chandeleurs, Grand Gozier, and Breton Isles and cut new channels within the islands. New Orleans itself enjoyed a sunny day with light winds.

The following is a description of the hurricane from page 218 of the book History of Louisiana by Francois Xavier Martin

"...The country was desolated in the summer of this year bv a hurricane of which Roman has preserved the details. It began on the laf't day of
August and continued until the third of September. It was not, however, felt in New Orleans, where the weather continued fine though the wind
hlew very high from the east. In lake Ponchartrain and the passes of the Rigolets and Chef Menteur, the water rose to a prodigious height, and the
lslands in the neighberhood werre several feet under water. The vessels at the Balize were all driven into the marshes, and a Spanish ship
foundered and cvery person on board perishhed. Along the coast frum lake Borgne to Pensacola, the wind ranged from south southeast and east; but
farther west It blew with greatest violence, from north northeast and east. A schooner belonging to the British government, having a detachment of
the sixteenth regiment on board, was driven westerly as far as cat island, under the westcrnl part of which she cast anchor; but the water rose so
high that she parted her cable and floated over the island. The wind entirely destroyed the woods for ahout thirty miles from the sea shore. At Moblle, the effects of it were tcrrible. Vessels, boats, and logs were drawn up the streets to a great distance. The gullevs and hollows as well as the lower grounds. of the town were so filled with logs, that the Inhabitants easily provided themselves with their winter supply of fuel. The salt spray was carried by the wind four or five miles from the seashore, and then desscended in showers.

For thirty miles up a hranch of the Pascagoula which, from the number of cedar trees its bank, is called Cedar c:reek, there was scarcely a tree left standing; the pines were thrown down or broken and those trees which did not entirely yield to the violence of the Wind, were twisted like ropes.

But the most singular effect of this hurricane, was the production of a second grow:th of leaves and fnut on the mulberry. trees. This hardy tree
budded. foliated, blossomed and bore fruit within four weeks after the storm...."

Note: Page 218 also records that the winter was so severe that year that the orange trees perished.

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1776: Hurricane struck New Orleans. Produced some damage.

October 7-10th, 1778: There was a great storm surge that destroyed the establishments of the Balize, Bayou St. John, and Tigouyou. All structures were wiped out of existence.

August 18th, 1779: A hurricane made landfall at New Orleans. At that time, Spain had declared war on Great Britain. Almost all of Governor Bernardo de Galvez' ships that were to be used to secretly seize the British post at Baton Rouge were grounded or destroyed, thus ruining his plans for invasion until the 27th. The only ship that escaped disaster was El Volante. Some of the ships were found in the middle of woods after the storm! Wind and rain began on the night of the 17th. Full violence of the storm was attained by 3 am. All houses, pirogues, barges, and boats were decimated; fields were leveled and all crops, stock, and provisions were lost. These included an American Frigate, the Morris. Galvez described the Hurricane in a Report to the King of Spain on the Manchac and Baton Rouge Campaigns dated October 16, 1779 as follws:

"...I made my preparations and decided to leave on August 22nd, with intentions to ask the individuals on the 20th to follow me; but on the 18th, such an
impetous hurricane came upon us that in less than three hours all vessels in the River had perished, the war vessels as well as the Mercantile ones,
among which there were also sunk the galliots and gun-boats that I had built for the defence of the River; many houses of the town being found
on the ground, the dwellings located at twenty leagues in the vicinity were destroyed, the trees uprooted, the men terrified, their wives and
children scattered in the deserted fields, exposed to the roughness of the weather, the grounds inundated, and in the River everything sunk, just as
well as my resources, help and hopes were all lost....."

During this storm, William Dunbar made observations that uncovered the true nature of tropical storms and hurricanes; that they had a progressive forward movement and that the winds revolved around a vortex at the center. His findings were presented to the American Philosophical Society in 1801.

Note: Cattle was brought into LA from Spanish Texas to restock the cattle destroyed by the hurricane.  Thus Spanish Texas played a major part in the American Revolution by supplying Galvez.

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October 7-10th, 1779: Hurricane affected New Orleans.

August 24th, 1780: A hurricane worse that the August 1779 storm swept over the province of Louisiana striking New Orleans; destroying crops, tearing down buildings and sinking every vessel and boat afloat on the Mississippi River and on area lakes. It was during this storm that Dunbar noted that tornadoes form around tropical storms and seldom lasted more than 5 to 10 minutes. This was of no comfort to the inhabitants of the area, who were distraught after these two storms and an excessively cold winter followed by a very rainy summer. These residents wrote the Spanish sovereign not to abandon the country regardless of the adverse blows of nature.

The following is a description of the hurricane from page 235 of the book History of Louisiana by Francois Xavier Martin

"...On the twenty-fourth of August, Louisiana was desolated by a hurricane. This year the Mississippi rose to a greater height than was remembered by by the oldest inhabitants. In the Attakapas and Opelousas, the inundation was extreme. The few spots which the water did not reach were covered with deer..."

August 23rd, 1781: Hurricane struck New Orleans.

Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 was a fire that destroyed 856 of the 1,100 structures in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 21, 1788, spanning the south central French Quarter from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the riverfront buildings. See the Wikipedia article for more information.

July 1788: Severe flooding of the Mississippi River.  Aid given to Acadian settlers at Fort Bute, Manchac and Baton Rouge.  The settlers had arrived in 1785. See census records

August 1793: A strong tropical storm hit New Orleans and destroyed un-harvested crops and devastated rural sections of  the province.

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August 31-September 1, 1794: A hurricane that moved through Cuba on the 27th and 28th of August struck New Orleans on the 31st and produced crop damage. The storm surge moved inland from Balize (Pilottown) westward to the Plaquemines as deep as 10 feet in places, totally engulfing Fort St. Phillip and drowning their chief engineer. Large hail was also noted in the storm; a very unusual event in a hurricane. Nine hours of high winds tormented what is now Avoyelles Parish on September 1st as the storm continued marching northward. Many lives, cattle, and horses perished in the storm.

Great New Orleans Fire of 1794 was a fire that destroyed 212 structures in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 8, 1794, in the area now known as the French Quarter from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the riverfront buildings. Below is an Extract from Publications of the Louisiana Historical Society, New Orleans, Louisiana, Vol. I, Part IV, 1896, pages 10-11

MEETING OF NOVEMBER 18, 1896.

“…President Fortier entertained the society by translating a valuable French document, published at Cap Francois, and giving an account of the great fire of 1788 in New Orleans. It contained a thrilling description of this great disaster written by a contemporary. It stated that eight hundred and fifty-six houses were burned in five hours, and that all the commercial houses of the little city, except three, were destroyed. The total loss was three millions of dollars. The horror of the scene was intensified by the presence of robbers, who carried off much of the property that was exposed. Fortunately there was no loss of life, nor was there any any limit to private charities in behalf of the unfortunates…”

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August 1800: Hurricane struck New Orleans.

1811: Hurricane struck New Orleans.

August 19-20th, 1812: A hurricane struck just west of New Orleans. At 5 PM on the 19th, winds began out of the northeast in New Orleans. Winds increased to a "perfect hurricane" at 11 PM. Winds abated after 2:30 PM the next day. Nearly all buildings suffered. All window panes in City Hall were broken. Fifteen feet of water covered the city. Extensive damage to buildings, trees, and 53 boats was seen. The levee was destroyed, which allowed the storm surge to submerge areas south of the city. Plaquemines Parish went under as much as 15 feet of Gulf water. Sugar crops suffered severely. Nearly 100 people died during the storm. Losses totaled $6 million. Some public panic set in when after the storm rumors spread that the British had taken over Fort St. Phillip; this storm struck during the thick of the War of 1812 and the fort was controlled by the Americans at the time. In fact, the British fleet approaching the area was scattered widely across the Gulf during the storm. Fort St. Phillip itself went underwater.

See article by Dr. Cary Mock entitled Geographer Recreates The Great Hurricane of 1812 in Science Daily, 5 Feb. 2011 for additional information and a chart of the path of the hurricane.

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August 19, 1813: Hurricane affected Gulf coast. Considered very destructive.

July 25-28, 1819: Hurricane affected the coast from Louisiana to Alabama. Its full force was felt at Bay St. Louis. New Orleans was at the fringe of the storm and suffered no severe damage. Ships at Balize (Pilottown) suffered a strong gale for 24 hours, but only 3 ships were grounded. Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne rose 5 to 6 feet during the storm. Forty one lives were lost on the U.S. Man of War schooner Firebrand, a 150 ton gun ship, while it lay off the west end of Cat Island. In total, 43 people lost their lives.

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September 15-17, 1821: A second much larger yet weaker hurricane struck near Bay St. Louis. The gale continued for over 24 hours at New Orleans. A dozen willow trees were the main casualties there.  The storm was more damaging at Petite Coquille, where 4 soldiers drowned when an 8 foot storm surge overwashed the island. The fort there was nearly swept away. In all, over 35 people died in the tempest.

August 16-17th, 1831: The Great Barbados hurricane, very destructive, hit just west of Last Island, west of Baton Rouge.
Killed 1500 people along its path from Barbados to New Orleans. A fishing village on Grand Isle was destroyed when the tide rose 6 feet. Sugarcane crops were damaged severely from Baton Rouge to Pointe a la Hache. Orchards and gardens in Plaquemines parish sustained considerable damage.

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August 28-29, 1831: A strong tropical storm struck Southwest Louisiana. High tides were seen west of Lake Borgne...gales were seen in New Orleans overnight on the 28-29th. Gales raged much more severely near the Sabine River and across Central Louisiana near Opelousas and Attakapas. Cotton was ruined in Baton Rouge and Alexandria due to the heavy rains and winds. High winds were noted as far northwest as Fort Jessup, southwest of Natchitoches.

October 6-7, 1837: Racer's Storm hit Matamoros, Mexico before recurving northeast and striking Louisiana coast just east of Cameron; moved east across Gulf coast before heading across North Carolina and then out into the Atlantic. Storm caused a surge of 8 feet of water above high tide on Lake Pontchartrain.

New Orleans experienced a "gale" on the 5th and 6th, destroying chimneys, awnings, and many area roofs. The City Exchange on Lewis Street, which was under construction at the time, suffered much damage. The original wooden Bayou St. John lighthouse, the first built by the U.S. Government outside the original 13 colonies, was swept into obscurity. All wharves along the Mississippi coast were washed away with the tide. The storm caused widespread flooding and
considerable damage to shipping; all boats, including 4 steamboats, perished in the storm.  Lower portions of New Orleans were submerged. Many of the buildings were damaged or carried away by the tide. Crops were seriously
damaged along both sides of the Mississippi, particularly sugarcane and cotton. Six lives were lost. See Texas Hurricane History for more on the earlier history of this storm.

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September 14-17th, 1839: This storm struck Charley's Lake (later named Charleston, then Lake Charles). An "appearance of rain" was noted in the T. Rigmaiden Diary on the 14th. Rain began on the 15th with a "hard wind". Rainfall increased in intensity on the 16th. By the 17th, the rain and wind subsided, while cloudiness lingered.

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June 19th-23rd, 1840: Another reference to a tropical storm appears in the diary in June of the next year. An "all day rain" began on the 19th and continued for days. Wind increased by the 21st, as corn was "blown down in the field". The center of the cyclone passed to the west of Charley's Lake (Charleston, Lake Charles), as a "hard south wind" blew through the area. Rain continued until the 23rd.

June 11-15th, 1844: Charleston (Lake Charles) experiences another storm. During the 10th and 11th, threatening skies brought the promise of rain. A "very hard rain" materialized on the 12th. A continuation of the deluge on the 13th led to the bending of corn stalks and the washing away of a bridge. Rainfall continued through the 15th.

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April 3rd-4th, 1846: Hurricane hits Balize, near the Mouth of the Mississippi. Considered the most damaging since 1831. The storm cut a new boat channel between Cat Island and its lighthouse. It is possible this was an intense springtime low in the Gulf of Mexico, similar to the March storm of 1993, and not of tropical origin due to its time of occurrence. Southwest Louisiana saw the fury of the cyclone as well. It rained throughout the 3rd with a "very hard wind". Flooding developed at Charleston (Lake Charles) on the 4th, causing waters to encroach upon area residences and sweeping away fences. Six inches of rain fell in all. Showery weather continued through the 7th.

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August 26th, 1852: A tropical storm formed north of the Dominican Republic on the 19th, then moved west through the Florida Straits. In the Gulf, movement became northwest and the hurricane made landfall at the Mouth of the Pascagoula River on the night of the 25th. It was hardly noticed on Lake Pontchartrain. Four new channels were cut through Chandeleur Island. The storm claimed the 55 foot tall Chandeleur Island lighthouse and replaced it with a broad 10 foot deep lagoon (Cipra). The keepers were rescued three days later, on the verge of starvation. The schooners Josephine and Walter M. went ashore on Cat Island.

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September 15-16th, 1855: A storm swept out of the Gulf across Fort St. Phillip and Lake Borgne, before moving into Mississippi. It was considered the worst since 1819 and was felt as far east as Apalachicola Bay. At Proctorville (Yscloski), bathhouses and the wharf were consumed by the waves that ran inland. Water was as deep as 4 feet on Proctor's Landing. At Lake Borgne, water began to rise during the afternoon of the 15th. A "smart breeze" was blowing by sunset. Winds had increased to a "perfect hurricane" by midnight. A number of homes fell victim. At Cat Island, the light keeper's dwelling was wrecked and its lighthouse was in "severe peril". Most everything along the Mississippi coast was swept away with the tide. The Atchafalaya and Ship Shoal lightships were torn from their moorings and grounded. Both lightships were repaired and returned to service in 1856 (Cipra). The ship Venice was pushed into the banks of the
Mississippi River and sprang a leak by the strong gale. The steamer J.S. Chenoweth sank in the Mighty Mississippi.

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August 10-12th, 1856: Hurricane strikes Isle Derniere, Last Island, a pleasure resort south- southwest of New Orleans. The highest points were under 5 feet of water. The resort hotel and surrounding gambling establishments were destroyed, over 200 people perished, and the island was left void of vegetation and split in half. Only one terrified cow survived on the Isle. Last Island is now only a haven for pelicans and other sea birds.  The rain total at New Orleans reached 13.14". Every house in the town of Abbeville was leveled, including the wooden St. Mary Magdalen Church that Fr. Megret had built in 1855; and, the "brick courthouse". Rains from the storm flooded the Mermentau River and destroyed crops along the bottom lands. Area rice fields in Plaquemines parish were under several feet of salt water. Nearly all rice was lost. Orange trees were stripped of their fruit. The steamer Nautilus foundered. The lone survivor cling to a bale of cotton and washed ashore sometime later.

Note: Isle Derniere [Last Island] was a resort spot for the rich and powerful so many influential persons died there.  See Last Island: those who died and survived.

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1860: Number 1, August 11th On the fourth anniversary of the Last Island disaster, another hurricane made landfall in Southeast Louisiana. The Mississippi rose 3 feet during the storm. The old site of Proctorville, now Yscolski, had hardly a house left standing... its lighthouse also leveled. The Bayou St. John lighthouse was destroyed. The Cat Island lighthouse was demolished, along with its keeper's dwelling. The Island was inundated, causing the loss of 300 cows.  Storm surges extended eastward along the entire Mississippi coast.  The sugarcane crop laid in ruin. Trees were uprooted throughout the Plaquemines and Balize (Pilottown). Up to ten feet of water inundated the region. Crops of rice and corn were entirely ruined. The influence of the storm extended eastward to Pensacola, where it rained 3.03" and a strong gale ensued on the 11th. Over 47 people died...damaged totaled $260,000.

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1860: Number 2, September 14-15th Another hurricane struck near the Mouth of the Mississippi, worst at Balize (Pilottown, Pilotsville). The gale raged for about 20 hours across extreme Southeast Louisiana, and large hail fell. Every building in Balize was either blown down by the wind or washed away by the storm surge. The third Bayou St. John lighthouse was damaged beyond repair. Lower portions of Plaquemines parish were covered by several feet of water, drowning several
people. Tides rose to 6 feet above the high tide mark.  All wharves along the south side of Lake Pontchartrain were destroyed. But it was no better in Mississippi...the lighthouse at Bay St. Louis was swept away along with one of its hotels. In total,  damages exceeded $1 million.

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1860: Number 3, October 2-3rd A third hurricane within seven weeks produced severe damage to houses, businesses, boats, and crops as far inland as Baton Rouge. The storm made landfall in the Atchafalaya Swamp and swept northeast. It only carried with it a 12 to 15 inch storm surge at Port a la Hache, likely due to its rapid movement. Whatever was left of the sugar crop, along with the machinery employed in producing it, laid in ruin. Heavy losses were reported in Vermilion, Feliciana, Alvermarle, Bayou Lafourche, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernards, and Terrebonne as well. Eleven miles of railroad track were washed out near New Orleans, where the rain total was 5.02" during the storm. The system continued northeast and produced the highest winds Natchez had seen since the Tornado of 1840. Trees fell in great numbers in Concordia Parish as they experienced stiff north winds. Gales were seen eastward to Pensacola, as with the first storm in 1860.

Just on the Louisiana side of the Sabine river lies a vast expanse of marshland. Within this region is the town of Johnson's Bayou (now known as Johnson Bayou). French fur traders traversed the area during the 1700's to barter with the local Native American tribe, the Attakapas. The first permanent settler was Daniel Johnson, who arrived in 1790. Cotton was the town's primary crop. This location was cutoff and virtually isolated from the outside world until 1960.

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September 13th, 1865: Hurricane strikes extreme Southwestern Louisiana. Considered similar to Audrey in strength, but smaller in areal extent. Niblet's Bluff was completely destroyed. One person died in Johnson Bayou where many homes were leveled. The area around Calcasieu (Big) Lake was inundated by the storm surge. Grand Chenier was also put under water by the storm, where several more people died. Fragments of furniture and homes were found afloat several miles up the Calcasieu. Twenty-five people lost their lives to the hurricane, most at Leesburg (now Cameron). The tides were high as far east as the Mississippi River, where rains and high winds were noted on the 13th. Extensive flooding occurred in Feliciana Parish. The entire Balize settlement and its "Pilottown" were abandoned years before. Everything left in the area was obliterated during the storm. The ship Lone Star was wrecked while in Galveston Bay, and vessels trying to save the survivors almost foundered as well.

October 22-23rd, 1865: Hurricane affected Louisiana coast.

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July 12-13th, 1866: A storm moved well off the coast of Louisiana. On the 11th at 28.5N 87.3W, a three-masted schooner was dismasted in heavy seas. Winds "blew hard" at New Orleans for a few hours on the evening of the 12th. Tides increased until daybreak the 13th. Damage was seen at the Timbalier Bay lighthouse. "Ugly, threatening weather" hit on the 12th. Three feet of water surrounded the tower.  Wave action knocked away two brick piers, as 24 hours of pounding surf broke against the lighthouse. The keeper became spooked by the combination of weather condition and loneliness, and "promptly resigned" (Cipra).

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August 15-18th, 1866: On the 15th, stormy conditions spread across Southwest Pass, as winds increased out of the northeast. New Orleans became breezy on the 16th, but rain was absent. A steady rain set in by sunset on the 17th. High tides and stormy weather were experienced at Southwest Pass, as winds became southeast. New Orleans also rained during much of that day. Proving the previous keeper of the Timbalier Bay lighthouse correct in his decision, "gale-driven" seas again invaded from the Gulf. The temporary light and dwelling houses were demolished. The new keepers clung to a buoy for days, riding out the storm (Cipra).

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October 2-6th, 1867: A storm was discovered east of Brownsville on the 2nd. On that day, a regatta was held on Lake Pontchartrain. A "spanking breeze" from the northeast and squalls wreaked havoc on the contest. Rain began during the evening of the 4th in New Orleans. At the Mouth of the Mississippi, the storm was far worse. A "fearful gale" blew in near midnight on the 4th. The pressure fell to 28.80".  The river churned into a "seething foam". Telegraph lines were downed. Three houses at Pilottown were leveled. The cyclone moved within 70 miles of the Louisiana shore, before moving east towards Florida. Heavy rains and winds continued until the 6th. Rice crops in Plaquemines parish experienced great damage. The Spanish bark Carmen went ashore while a coal barge was sunk. The Eclipse became lodged in area mud. The hurricane was severe, driving "pyramidal seas" against the Ship Shoal lighthouse, strongly shaking the tower and splashing oil for the light out of the reservoirs. The light was extinguished for six hours, and the lighthouse took on a northeast lean thereafter (Cipra 159). The Shell Keys lighthouse was demolished, and its keeper perished. The screwpiles that connected the Southwest Reef lighthouse to the Gulf bottom were bent and twisted.

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October 1-3rd, 1868: A hurricane passed just offshore the Southeastern tip of Louisiana, before hitting Apalachicola the next day. On the first, cloudiness set in as a "fresh breeze", associated with showers, developed at New Orleans. Gales and heavy rains developed on the 3rd as the city became flooded. The sawmill and bathhouses were blown away. At Milneburg, houses were swept away by the flood. The West Rigolets lighthouse suffered $5000 in damages during the storm (Cipra).

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June 2-3rd, 1871: A tropical cyclone that struck Galveston also made an impact on Louisiana. New Orleans was flooded, giving the appearance of a "submerged city" after the storm.

June 8-9th, 1871: Another hurricane made landfall, this time just west of Galveston. Strong southeast winds set in at New Orleans. Heavy rain began in earnest around 3 p.m.. At Berwick's Bay, a "terrific gale" occurred on the 9th. Southwest Pass also saw strong southeast winds. Rains fell in torrents. Milneburg went underwater. A tornado touched down at Chatawa, 95 miles from New Orleans. It made a path 100 feet wide and lasted ten to fifteen minutes. A schoolhouse was razed to the ground. Numerous trees were uprooted, including 100 peach and pear trees. The schooner Confidence had its confidence shaken when sunk by the storm at Manchac bridge.

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October 1-4th, 1871: Heavy rains and winds began in Southeast Louisiana on the first. Large trees were blown down. Walls of two burnt buildings crumbled before the storm. New Orleans saw "unprecedented rainfall" between 6 p.m. on the 2nd and 3rd: six to ten inches. Homes were unroofed and telegraph poles fell. Damage was estimated at $5,000. Southwest Pass saw a "very heavy gale" start at 10 p.m. on the 2nd from the southeast, becoming northeast on the 3rd. The pilot boats Louis Geran, Orientals, Hays, and Cornelia were beached. The Robert Bruce was thrown ashore and became a "perfect wreck". Its pilot and boatkeeper clung to the vessel for 30 hours before they were rescued by the tug Wicaco. Four died from the Bruce.

Spring 1874: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1874. Its Extent, Duration and Effects - the flood is described in a circular dated May 30, 1874 from Mayor Wiltz of New Orelans to the Mayors of American Cities and Towns, And to the Philanthropic Throughout tthe republic, in behalf of Seventy Thousand Sufferers in Louisiana Alone. See Free E-Book at Project Gutenberg's The Great Mississippi Flood of 1874, by Louis A. Wiltz

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September 17-18th, 1875: On the 17th, a strong south wind developed across Louisiana as this hurricane made landfall near Indianola, Texas. At Calcasieu and Lake Charles, the wind shifted and blew with "terrific force". Tides at Shell Island were higher than during the Isle Dernieres disaster in 1856. At New Orleans, this squall came in and increased the winds to 36 mph. The pressure fell to 29.30" at Southwest Pass at noon on the 18th. The squall at New Orleans did a number on the steamer Natchez. It collided with the ferry Louise, linked up with the boat, and drifted down the Mississippi. After brushing past the C. H. Durfee and Belle Rowland, the steamer was re-secured. The Greenleaf dragged its anchor and went ashore. 

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August 22-23rd, 1879: Hurricane made landfall in Louisiana. At Lake Charles, winds increased out of the northeast beginning at 9 am on the 22nd, then veered to east and southeast after dark. According to the Lake Charles Echo, winds were sustained at 40 m.p.h.. The Weekly Calcasieu Gazette reported that during the "night we had a perfect hurricane." Several old buildings were blown down and the spire from the Catholic Church was torn off. Trees were uprooted; fences and chimneys destroyed. Great damage was done to the rice crops, gardens, and orchards. In Cameron Parish, damage was greater. A "tidal wave" swept from the southeast across the west back of Calcasieu Pass, stranding no less than 12 vessels high and dry after the storm. Some of the schooners were propelled far inland. The lighthouse was "wrenched" 6 inches to the west, its beacon blown away. Two seamen were tossed overboard from the New York brig Caseatell. Many of the dwellings were destroyed. Hundreds of cattle were rolled "head over tail,"  struggling vainly to keep their heads above water, yet still drowned. The damage was considered far worse at Grand Chenier. In Vermilionville (Lafayette), the steeple of the Catholic church fell in. Trees were downed and crops of cotton were damaged. At Broussardville, the Catholic chapel was severely damaged along with roofs being blown away; the schoolhouse moved several feet. New Iberia and Franklin saw some homes destroyed and many roofs blown off. Scarcely a building was left unharmed between Morgan City and New Iberia. Destruction to the sugar cane and fruit crops were considered "appalling."  For details of what this storm did to Orange, check out our Texas Hurricane History.

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September 1st, 1879: Hurricane makes landfall just west of Morgan City only 10 days after the last storm struck the area. In Abbeville, light rain began to fall on the night of the 31st. By 7 am on the 1st, a "perfect gale" was uprooting trees, along with damaging homes and fences. Winds died down at 3 p.m.. Bridges were washed away by the rain and flooding. Their Catholic church's roof partially fell under the weight of a tree, causing its bell to fall to the ground. Damage was greatest around Morgan City, where the pressure fell to 28.70". Sugar houses on the Teche were damaged. The Centreville Catholic and the Morgan Presbyterian churches were flattened. Saw mills at Jeanerette were destroyed. The wind was so intense between Morgan City and Jeanerette that trees were defoliated as if it was winter; estimated to 75-80 m.p.h. between New Iberia and Morgan City. Berwick Bay rose 9 feet and flooded all the streets of Morgan City. In Opelousas, crops were wrecked throughout the parish with over 1/2 of the cotton and most of the corn in ruin. Trees were downed as
well. The steamer Daniel Boone was sunk. The steamers Sammy and E.W. Fuller were forced well inland; in the case of the latter, several miles inland from Bayou Sale. Damage estimates were around $1/2 million. Twenty mules and five cattle fell victim. One victim was Cecilia Diez, age 7, who died Sept. 3rd at Patoutville.
 

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September 7th, 1882: Hurricane affects extreme Southeast Louisiana coast. Port Eads reported winds gusts to 92 m.p.h. and a pressure of 29.38". One half of the rice crop in Plaquemines Parish was destroyed. When it made landfall in Pensacola, a great deal of crops, shipping, and buildings suffered there.

September 14th, 1882: A strong tropical storm made landfall in Southwest Louisiana. That night, a "Hard wind and rain" visited Lake Charles, described as a lively gale". Port Eads had winds of 70 m.p.h. and a pressure of 29.38". Abbeville reported no damage with the storm. See Texas Hurricane History for what this storm did in extreme Southeast Texas.

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June 13-14th, 1886: This tropical storm passed inland near Calcasieu Pass. Inundation extended several miles inland, reaching its highest point at 10 am. Winds blew hard at Lake Charles, damaging 1/2 of the corn crop across Southwest Louisiana. The storm was most severe at Calcasieu Pass, causing extensive flooding. An English Barge was blown ashore, and several schooners experienced much damage. The schooner Agnes was left on the north side of Big (Calcasieu) Lake. Sabine Pass was covered by 7 feet of storm surge. An eight foot surge placed the Sabine Pass lighthouse under 5 feet of water. In Edgerly, several sheds were leveled and roofs were blown off area homes. Johnson Bayou reported all stock drowned and crops lost. A large watermelon crop laid in ruin; an orchard in the area had fruit "whipped off" the trees; 25 had considerable damage. A few outhouses were blown away. By the 21st, waters were at their highest level on Lake Charles, flowing onto Ryan Street. Residents said the water was "as high as it ever gets." More rain induced flooding occurred further north. Marksville received heavy rains on the 15th and 16th, with significant flooding around Bayou Pierrite. Excessive rainfall also was seen at Alexandria, 21.4" fell there. In Jackson Parish, southwest of Monroe, the rains were a relief to crops, yet still caused flooding of area creeks. See Texas Hurricane History for effects in that state.

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October 11-13, 1886: Another hurricane hits near Sabine, TX. Inundation extended 20 miles inland at the point of landfall. It blew "almost a hurricane" for 36 hours, from the night of the 11th until the morning of the 13th. Port Eads reported winds between 70 and 100 m.p.h. at 7 p.m. on the 11th. The Mississippi jetties were demolished. New Orleans had the pressure sink to 29.79". At Southwest Pass, near Leesburg (Cameron), the water got as high as 9 feet deep at the lighthouse. All cattle and crops were gone.  Cameron Parish suffered greatly during the storm.  It was worst at Johnson Bayou. The Peveto Beach hotel might have been washed away if a large number of cattle had not taken refuge in the building! Winds began to increase out of the south at 4 p.m.,  becoming a gale by 7, and a full-blown hurricane by 8. By 11, the storm surge of twelve feet had swept inland and the first buildings began to fall. Survivors sought refuge in buildings or by clinging to floating debris. All waters had receded by noon the next day. Nearly every house in the vicinity was removed from its foundation. The sister town of Radford was destroyed and never rebuilt. Most of those that survived migrated to Texas. Seven thousand cattle drowned. Around 196 lives perished in all, 110 from Johnson Bayou. The storm wrecked havoc to crops statewide, especially area cotton and rice fields across Southwest Louisiana; half the crop was lost at Sugartown. One unoccupied house at the edge of town in Lake Charles was blown down. Lafayette reported some damage to cotton. In Plaquemine Parish, the whole rice crop was in ruin. Wreckage along the Lower Mississippi Coast was reported to be "terrible", causing $250,000 in damage. Considered similar to Audrey in its effects. See Texas Hurricane History for more information on this powerful storm.

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October 16-19th, 1887: Hurricane hits Southeast Louisiana. On the 16th, a strong northeast wind blew across the area. Winds continued strong until the 18th, when the winds rose to "a regular storm".  Rain was steady until the 19th when skies cleared, but the wind remained. Caused much destruction in New Orleans, where the pressure fell to 29.22"; they received their heaviest rain in years. Great damage was done to cane and cotton crops around Abbeville.  Iberville Parish saw considerable damage to outhouses and the sugarcane crop. In Algiers, trees were blown down. Such flooding occurred that people has to "wade to work". On the 29th, a call went out in the Abbeville Meridional for the formation of a "New State Weather Service" for Louisiana; over 20 states had formed such an organization under the U.S. Signal Corp as of that time.

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August 18-20th, 1888. This hurricane was considered the "severest and most extensive" to hit Louisiana since the Racer's Storm of 1837. It affected much of northern Gulf coast. In New Orleans, all electric light, telegraph, and phone wires went down that Sunday night. By Monday morning, the storm was at its height. Ninety mile an hour winds rampaged through the city. Almost the entire city was submerged. The Teche also felt the storm. Sugar houses and sheds were blown down. Franklin had many homes with roofs blown off and leveled. Two churches in Morgan city were almost demolished. Local wharves were damaged and the rice crop suffered severely. Much wind damage was noted in Plaquemine, St. James, Donaldsonville, Houma, Convent, and Tigerville (named Gibson a couple weeks later after the senior Louisiana Senator at the time).  Rain totals for southern and central Louisiana were commonly 3-4 inches. Produced 7.9" of rain in New Orleans; 14.14" that week.  Maurepas had 11.48" of rain during the same period. All this water led to extensive flooding in Mandeville. Rice, sugarcane, and cotton crops were a total loss in some areas of Southeast Louisiana. Grand Coteau lost much of it fruit crop. Several churches were completely destroyed. Steamboats and sail boats alike were driven ashore by the wind and seas, including the steamers Keokuk, W.G. Little, and Laura, which were sunk. Trees were uprooted across the area. Several people perished in the storm.  Damages totaled near $2.7 million with the worst occurring in Southeast Louisiana. Half the damage occurred to crops, with a third due to sunk coal in New Orleans harbor. 

1892: Hurricane struck Southeast Louisiana near Morgan City in mid-September.

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September 6-8th, 1893: Hurricane did much damage to a small section of the state. Lockport in Lafourche Parish was partially destroyed; the storm there lasted from the night of the 6th until the afternoon of the 8th. Abbeville saw a stiff east breeze on the 7th, becoming a gale that afternoon and evening with heavy rain; over 5 inches in all. Heavy rains were confined to southeastern sections of the state: the highest totals were from Franklin (15.20") and Donaldsonville (10.69"). St. Martin and St. Mary Parishes had the worst losses in the state to cotton, rice, and sugar. Oranges saw extensive damage in East Feliciana Parish.

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October 1-2nd, 1893: An unheralded storm of great violence moved from the Gulf across the southeastern U.S. It devastated about 500 miles of the coastline from Timbalier Bay to Pensacola. Settlements along Lake Borgne, the Lower Mississippi, and the islands along the coast from the Bayou Lafourche east to the Chandeleurs saw the brunt of the hurricane. Landfall was between New Orleans and Port Eads on October 1st. Winds of 100 m.p.h. were estimated at Grand Isle and at Pointe a la Hache. High winds were noted as far west as Abbeville. A schooner 4 miles north of Pascagoula reported a pressure of 28.65". At dusk on the 1st of October, hurricane force winds overspread the coast. By 10 p.m., as winds continued to increase, water began covering coastal islands. A gigantic wave then crashed upon the shore of the north end of Grand Isle, destroying everything in its path. Winds went calm as the eye passed overhead between 11 p.m. and midnight. Winds began again in earnest after midnight, then tapered off by dawn. The storm surge was as high as 15 feet in Louisiana bays, 16 feet at Chandeleur Island. The Barataria Bay lighthouse was almost demolished. The Chandeleur Island lighthouse took on a several foot tilt; waves at times washed over the lantern, which was 50 feet above seas level! Severe damage was dealt to the Lake Borgne lighthouse; its metal roof sheared off by the wind. Two hundred survivors sought refuge at the Port Pontchartrain lighthouse, and its female light keeper was publicly recognized. Two thousand people died, 779 from Cheniere Caminanda and 250 at Grand Lake alone. Immense destruction of shipping occurred, islands were stripped of vegetation, and property losses of around $5 million were seen with the storm. Four churches were blown down across the state. In stature, it was considered more than an equal to the 1856 hurricane. One of the survivors was rescued in a makeshift raft off South Pass 8 days later, almost 100 miles from where he began in Cheniere Caminanda. Also of interest, a man named Jean Henriot wrote a poem about the storm. He was a resident of Cheniere Caminanda at the time and left the island to settle in Westwego soon after the storm. The poem was passed on from generation to generation before finally being put in print fully in 1973. Most people local to that section of the state still tell tales of what went on in that storm over a century ago.

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September 12th, 1897: Hurricane skirted the Louisiana coast near Port Eads, then moved inland into Southeast Texas, north near Beaumont. At Port Eads, winds were 72 m.p.h.. In Abbeville, winds were stiff out of the east. The storm vented its fury between dusk and 10 P.M., waning after 11. Damage was inflicted upon the pear, pecan, cotton, and rice crops. At Cheniere au Tigre, boats and schooners were badly damaged and washed up on the beach. Wind mills were blown down. Area cattle took refuge on Pecan Island. At Calcasieu Pass, the only damage noted was to cotton and growing crops. See Texas Hurricane History for more on this storm.  September 7-9th, 1900: Galveston Hurricane strikes Southeast Texas on September 7th. Cameron Parish saw hurricane force winds.  Johnson's Bayou was over-washed by the storm surge, but there was no loss of life. That night, winds were strong out of the east at Abbeville; the winds continued through the 9th. Gales were experienced as far inland as DeRidder and as far east as New Orleans.  Tides in the bayou were the highest since the Indianola Hurricane of 1875. Rice was threshed out by the wind. At Cheniere au Tigre, a few calves were drowned. Winds reached 31 mph out of the northeast at Port Eads. Damage was considered light across the state, all things considered. See Texas Hurricane History for more on this storm.

October 10, 1899 - Great Fire of New Iberia: About 6:00 PM, October 10, 1899, fire started in a warehouse just east of here. Within minutes, the surrounding buildings were ablaze. The entire square, from Julia to Iberia Streets and from Main to St. Peter Streets burned before midnight. Only the heroic efforts otf the fire companies of New Iberia, Jeanerette and St. Martinville saved the remainder of the buisness district. Nevertheless, over fifty percent of New Iberia's enterprises were destroyed by the fire. Most of the buildings now standing on this block arose from the ashes of that disaster.

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September 8, 1900: The Deadliest Storm in History destroyed Galvestown, Texas and killed over 6,000 people.  Incredibly, the steamship Louisiana commanded by Captain T. P. Halsey sailed from New Orleans directly into the storm and survived!  See Isaac's Storm for the story of this devastating storm that led to major changes in the monitoring and prediction of storms.

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August 14th, 1901: Hurricane forms northeast of Puerto Rico and moves west through Southern Florida and northwest through the Gulf of Mexico before hitting Grand Isle on the 14th. The 5-min average winds reached 56 m.p.h. at Port Eads before the anemometer blew away. River stages at New Orleans rose to a level of 7 feet during the storm, producing much flooding. Levee breaks around New Orleans flooded the city. Buras reported 4 feet of water in town. The only building not destroyed at Port Eads was the lighthouse! Total Louisiana damages exceeded $1 million. Ten lives were lost.

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September 26th, 1906: A hurricane made landfall at the Mouth of the Pascagoula River. Gales were experienced along the Lower Mississippi Delta. Winds gusted to 49 m.p.h. as the pressure fell to 29.15" at New Orleans. The Lake Borgne lighthouse was most likely destroyed in this storm, though Cipra dates the destruction as occurring on the 10th (Cipra).

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July 21st, 1909: The hurricane that caused great damage across Texas also left its mark on Southwest Louisiana. Gale force winds affected Cameron and Vermilion Parishes, on top of the storm surge. Hundreds of cattle drowned in the marsh. Cotton from Grand Chenier to Sabine Pass was in ruin. Two lives were lost in Cameron Parish.

September 20th, 1909: A hurricane passed over Berwick Bay before passing inland between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Winds of 80 m.p.h. were reported at Thibodaux. The pressure at Abbeville bottomed out at 28.68". Extensive damage occurred in New Orleans to coal barges, railroads, communication lines, crops, and much property public and private when winds reached 66 mph at 7 p.m.. Churches in Smoke Bend, Kaplan, Montegut, Pierre Part, and Elton were damaged. Crowley saw a 35% loss to its rice crop. Cotton and sugarcane suffered greatly across greatly across Southwest Louisiana, east of the Calcasieu River. Significant delays to rail traffic were caused by wreckage strewn across the line from Avondale westward to Morgan City and New Iberia. The launch Maine was sunk in grand bay during the tempest. Many sailing vessels were swept ashore near the Rigolets. Damages totaled $6 million. The storm killed 353 people and its 15 foot storm surge inundated much of southern Louisiana.

The following information is an extract from http://www.biloxi-chitimacha.com/history.htm

1909, 1915, 1926 Hurricanes.

1909 caused many Indians to move from PAC to Fala, L’Esquine, Perriaque and Bayou Lafourche below Golden Meadow. Most of them had lost everything except the clothes on their backs.

1915 over 300 people drowned below Montegut - 4 can be identified as white, none of the others have been identified and are assumed to be Indians. The Indian settlement was about 10 miles below Montegut, called by the Indians - Taire-bonne - is now in swamp and can only be reached by boat. This hurricane caused the survivors to move to higher ground.

1926 there was severe flooding from a hurricane and caused deaths.

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August 15-17th, 1915: A hurricane made landfall just west of Galveston. Gales howled throughout Cameron and Vermilion Parishes and as far east as Mobile. Produced tides of 11 feet at Cameron (called Leesburg at the time), 10 feet at Grand Cheniere, and 9.5 feet at Marsh Island; Grand Isle reported water 6 feet deep across the city. The light keeper at the Sabine Pass lighthouse had to turn the lens by hand, as vibrations caused by the wave action put the clockwork out of order. At Sabine Bank, 17 miles offshore the Mouth of the Sabine, damage was noted. Damage estimates for Louisiana and Texas totaled around $50 million. See Texas Hurricane History for what occurred in Texas during this hurricane.

The following information is an extract from http://www.biloxi-chitimacha.com/history.htm

1909, 1915, 1926 Hurricanes.

1909 caused many Indians to move from PAC to Fala, L’Esquine, Perriaque and Bayou Lafourche below Golden Meadow. Most of them had lost everything except the clothes on their backs.

1915 over 300 people drowned below Montegut - 4 can be identified as white, none of the others have been identified and are assumed to be Indians. The Indian settlement was about 10 miles below Montegut, called by the Indians - Taire-bonne - is now in swamp and can only be reached by boat. This hurricane caused the survivors to move to higher ground.

1926 there was severe flooding from a hurricane and caused deaths.

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September 29th, 1915: A violent hurricane reached New Orleans. The then 10 foot high levee protecting the city began to be questioned as not being high enough after the passage of this storm (Orleans Levee District). The pressure fell to 28.01" on a ship in the New Orleans harbor. Burrwood's winds gusted to 106 m.p.h.. New Orleans saw as high as 98 m.p.h.. Franklin had 14.43" of rain during the storm, while New Orleans saw over 8". Over 50% of U.S. Highway 90 along the Mississippi coast was destroyed. Storm surges up to 12 feet ran ashore the northern coast of Grand Isle. The New Canal lighthouse was heavily damaged as winds of 130 mph raged, and the pressure fell to 28.11"....which at the time set a record for the lowest pressure measured on land in the United States. Ninety-nine out of 100 buildings were destroyed in the town of Leeville. Thirteen million dollars of damage, $5 million in New Orleans alone, were caused and 275 people died. Many of those who perished refused to leave low lying areas in advance of the storm, despite ample warning.

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October 18th, 1916: A large hurricane hit Pensacola. Gale force winds lashed Lower Plaquemines Parish. The storm produced damage as far west as Burrwood.

August 6th, 1918: A hurricane originating south of Jamaica struck Cameron Parish. The storm affected places as far west as Orange, Texas and as far east as Jennings. It struck without warning. Winds at Lake Charles were estimated to be near 100 m.p.h.; Sulphur reported a pressure of 28.36" and winds as high as 125 m.p.h.. Johnson's Bayou saw a 2 1/2 foot storm surge while Morgan City recorded a 3 foot surge. Leesburg (Cameron) itself saw little damage. However, homes in Grand Chenier and Creole were swept away by the storm surge. The tempest killed 3 at Gerstner Field, formerly near Holmwood. It destroyed 7 hangars and 96 airplanes. Only its Big lake Gunnery School survived, which assisted with relief work after the storm. Area sawmills were destroyed. The damage was most severe in the Goosport milling district, where fires added to the destruction caused by the wind. The fires were so bright that DeQuincy could see
a red glow in the southern sky. Westlake was "a scene of desolation" as most buildings were leveled.  Very few Sulphur businesses were left standing. The Union Sulphur Mines saw $3 million in losses. Further north, DeQuincy was heavily damaged by high winds. Several homes and businesses there met their fate. Thirty- four lives were lost across the state of Louisiana. Five million dollars in damage occurred. The main route between Leesburg (Cameron) and Lake Charles was a ship named the Borealis Rex. It left on the morning of the 6th and fought the rising winds to try to get back to port in Lake Charles. When she entered Prien Lake, strong winds drove the boat against the shore. The passengers ran out to a nearby home to ride out the storm. When the winds reversed out of the north, the Borealis Rex was forced a mile downstream where it sank in 8-10 foot waves. The lowest pressure noted on the Rex's barometer was 29.06". The boat
was resurrected, refurbished, and back in commission in the Spring of 1919. Its bell ended up at the Cameron Methodist church, until it was blown off the roof on February 12, 1998 during severe thunderstorms.

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September 11-14th, 1919: A hurricane moved westward, off the coast of Louisiana. Gales were experienced in Lower Plaquemines parish. The pressure at Burrwood fell to 29.60" as winds peaked at 52 mph. Lake Pontchartrain became a "raging sea". A six foot storm surge was recorded 40 miles west of Grand Isle, and lesser invasion of the coast was seen elsewhere in the state. This system went on to devastate Corpus Christi. Similar to Carla of 1961 in effects. See Texas Hurricane History for much more on this tempest. September 21-22nd, 1920: Hurricane passed through eastern Louisiana. Pressure fell to 28.99" at Houma with tides up to 6 feet reported in the Mississippi Sound. Fishing villages along Lake Borgne experienced gales on the east side of the system, at times gusting to 48 mph. Trees were uprooted and lines were downed. As one of the lines fell, a man fell victim. Winds of 60 mph were seen as far east as Bay St. Louis. Winds were estimated at 90 m.p.h. for Grand Isle. Tides did considerable damage at Grand Isle and Manilla Village. Killed one and produced $1.45 million in damage.

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October 16th, 1923: Minimal hurricane hits state near Point Au Fer. Heavy rains were seen eastward to Pensacola. The pressure fell to 29.25" at Morgan City and the tide rose 3.6 feet. As the storm accelerated north and northeast, rains spread north to Lake Superior. On Oct. 17, 1923, the storm caused the Schooner Rachel to run aground near Historic Fort Morgan. The wreakage of the Schooner Rachel was revealed by Hurricane Isaac - see PDF version of an article with a phtoto entitled "Schooner comes ashore for another peek" published in The Dallas Morning News on Sept. 8, 2012.

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August 25-27th, 1926: A hurricane struck near Houma. The steamship Cody, while lying 220 miles east southeast of Galveston reported 75 mph winds while the Argon saw northeast winds of 100 mph neat 27N 90.5W. The pressure bottomed out at 28.31" in Houma with estimated winds of 100 m.p.h. at Grand Isle. Morgan City had 60 mph winds howl
through town. Over five inches of rain fell. New Orleans gusted to 52 mph as the pressure sank to 29.37". Burrwood's winds peaked at 50 mph while the pressure fell to 29.55". At Houma, the sugarhouse was wrecked at Southdown plantation. The Episcopal church was "smashed". Ninety percent of the sugar cane was gone after the storm. Serious damage occurred between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Lutcher, Caryville, Burnside, and Gismer saw streets full of wreckage which became almost impassable. Many trees were uprooted and barns were removed from their foundations.
Thibodaux and Napoleanville experienced winds of 120 mph. Houses fell as telephones splintered in the wind. The town of Thibodaux lost three churches, a warehouse, and ten stores. At Glenwood and Madewood, more than thirteen inches of rain fell in less than 12 hours. The pecan orchard in Shriever was gone. Early rice and cotton were beat down at Crowley. Baton Rouge plunged into darkness as $20,000 in damage occurred to its electric company. More than seventy passengers from the Southern Pacific trains were marooned on a railway ferry barge in the Mississippi when two tugboats towing it grounded. A boat sank at Donaldsonville. The New Canal lighthouse was again damaged, causing it to be raised three feet after the storm. The third Timbalier Bay lighthouse was slightly tipped to the northwest. A ten foot storm surge was reported at Timbalier Bay; tides as high  as 15 feet over-washed the southern coast of Terrebonne Parish, north of Isle Derniere. Twenty five people died and 4 million dollars in building damage occurred as it moved northwest towards Shreveport.

The following information is an extract from http://www.biloxi-chitimacha.com/history.htm

1909, 1915, 1926 Hurricanes.

1909 caused many Indians to move from PAC to Fala, L’Esquine, Perriaque and Bayou Lafourche below Golden Meadow. Most of them had lost everything except the clothes on their backs.

1915 over 300 people drowned below Montegut - 4 can be identified as white, none of the others have been identified and are assumed to be Indians. The Indian settlement was about 10 miles below Montegut, called by the Indians - Taire-bonne - is now in swamp and can only be reached by boat. This hurricane caused the survivors to move to higher ground.

1926 there was severe flooding from a hurricane and caused deaths.

Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 remains the most destructive flood in the history of the United States. See Wikipedia article.

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September 16, 1928 - West Palm Beach, Florida Hurricane

This hurricane is being placed on the Louisiana list because of its historical significance.  It remains the second deadliest disaster in America behind the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 [over 6000 dead] and the Johnstown, PA flood of 1889 [2,209 dead].  The estimate for the deaths in Florida is 2500-3000 - the exact number will never be known. When the deaths in Puerto Rico [up to 1,600] and the deaths in the Caribbean Islands are included, the storm caused over 6,800 deaths.  The storm was responsible for the most deaths of black people in a single day in U.S. History.

See Black Cloud on the books page.

July 22nd-25th, 1933: This tropical storm moved up the Texas coast for several days and brought heavy rainfall. An area of over 25,000 square miles saw an average of 12.5". A small area of East Texas and Western Louisiana measured 20" or more. Logansport recorded 22.3" over a 4 day period.

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June 16th, 1934: Morgan City was hit by a hurricane. Not a single building escaped unharmed. Chimneys tumbled, roofs were torn off, and numerous windows were smashed. Pressure fell to 28.52" at Jeanerette. Winds at Morgan City reached 68 m.p.h., but only reached 35 mph at New Orleans, where the pressure fell to 29.34". Storm killed 7 and produced $2.6 million in damage.  August 14, 1938: A storm hit the shoreline east of Cameron. Grand Cheniere reported winds of hurricane force. Lake Charles recorded a pressure of 29.56" and wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. around 7:30 PM. Storm surges along the Southwest Louisiana coast were 4 to 5 feet. One person died in Lake Jackson and 250 thousand dollars worth of damage in Louisiana occurred. 

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August 7th, 1940: A hurricane with sustained winds of 80 m.p.h. made landfall across Southwest Louisiana. Hurricane force winds only extended 10 miles on either side of the storm. Produced extensive flooding across Acadiana with Crowley receiving 33.71" of rain over a five day period (Aug 6-10); Miller Island reported 37.5" of rain, with 23.8" within a 24 hour period. Rainfall records at the National Weather Service office in Lake Charles were set for August 7th and 8th which still stand today (6.77" and 4.84" respectively). Calcasieu Pass reported at 4.8 foot storm surge and western portions of Lake Pontchartrain saw a 6.4 ft. surge. Muskrat losses were as high as 75,000 head. Damage totaled $6 million, and six lives were lost. See Texas Hurricane History for more of the story.

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September 22nd-24th, 1941: A hurricane which struck Texas City, Texas caused hurricane force winds to blast western Cameron parish. Winds gusted to 40 mph at Lake Charles, where the pressure fell to 29.48".  August 19th-21st, 1942: This hurricane paralleled the shore before moving westward into Galveston. Hurricane force winds raged in the vicinity of Johnson Bayou. Winds only gusted to 28 mph at Lake Charles, where 2.12" of rain fell. 

July 25th, 1943: The hurricane that surprised Houston and led to the era of hurricane reconnaissance first formed off Southeast Louisiana. Burrwood reported 36 mph winds from the northeast, first indicating the incipient tropical storm. Winds gusted to 36 mph at Lake Charles on the 27th. Gales were seen along the entire Louisiana coast.

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September 15-19th, 1943: Storm tides reached 4 feet in Lake Pontchartrain as a dying tropical storm made landfall east of Lake Charles. Very heavy rain occurred throughout Southern Louisiana, with 19.26" falling at Morgan City.

August 22nd, 1947: A hurricane passed offshore Grand Isle. Sabine Pass reported a 3.6 foot storm surge as the storm hit the Upper Texas coast September 19th, 1947: Hurricane force winds first reached the Mississippi and Louisiana shores at 6 a.m. and New Orleans at 8 a.m.. Gusts to 125 m.p.h. were estimated at Moisant International Airport (highest gust measured was 112 m.p.h.) and the pressure fell to 28.57". The map to the left shows the storm making landfall at 6:30 a.m. CST on on the 19th. Hurricane force winds reached as far inland as Melville by 4 p.m.. A fifteen foot storm surge overcame the Bay St. Louis seawall. Ostrica saw an 11.5 foot surge and Shell Beach experienced an 11.2 foot storm surge. Water was 6 feet deep in Jefferson Parish. The air fields at Moisant were under 2 feet of water, closing the airport during its second year of operation. This storm demonstrated the dire need for tidal protection levees for New Orleans. Much of the city was flooded, and $100 million in damage was produced. The storm claimed 51 victims, 12 in Louisiana.

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September 3rd-4th, 1948: Hurricane hits Timbalier Bay. Moisant International Airport observed 90 m.p.h. gusts. Pressure at the Huey Long Bridge in New Orleans fell to 29.21". Heavy damage was done to oil rigs and other equipment offshore Grand Isle. Crops suffered wind and rain damage. Storm surges of 5 feet occurred at Ostrica Lock and 4-5 feet along the Chandeleurs. Damage estimates were near $888 thousand. All survived the storm.

Return to Menu [Note: The U.S. starting giving female names to hurricanes in the 1950's, male names were added in 1979]]

September 24th, 1956 (Flossy): Hurricane Flossy completely submerged Grand Isle and caused extensive coastal erosion as it moved across the Mississippi Delta. Burrwood reported winds to 90 m.p.h. and a lowest pressure of 29.03." Rain totals reached 16.70" at Golden Meadow. Hundreds lost their homes in the storm. Cattle were drowned and citrus, sugar cane, and pecan crops were heavily damaged. The eastern sections of the New Orleans seawall were overtopped, flooding 2.5 square miles. A storm surge of 13 feet was seen at Ostrica Lock. The storm killed 15 and $22 million in damage was produced.

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June 27th, 1957 (Audrey): The most destructive hurricane to strike Southwest Louisiana was Audrey. She moved ashore on June 27, 1957 near the Texas/Louisiana border causing a disastrous storm surge.  Storm surges of 6 feet of more extended from Galveston, TX along the coast to Cocodrie, LA. The highest storm surge measured was 12.4 feet west of Cameron. In Vermilion Parish, the storm surge pushed inland to Perry, just south of Abbeville. Much of St. Mary Parish was also inundated by Audrey.

Highest winds were reported to 96 m.p.h. at the NWS site with reports up to 105 m.p.h. in Lake Charles. An unofficial report of 180 m.p.h. winds was received from an oil rig, however this could have been associated with a severe thunderstorm embedded within Audrey's eye wall. Oil company tenders reported 150 m.p.h. winds which, although they are unofficial, are believed to be reasonably accurate. Waves associated with the storm were monstrous, indeed. In the gulf, seas of 45 to 50 feet were reported. Waves at Cameron reached as high as 20 feet above mean sea level; this was on top of the storm surge!

Two tornadoes were spawned; one in New Orleans and the other in Arnaudville. Out of the 100,000 buildings that experienced damage, several thousand were destroyed. Between 90 and 95 percent of the buildings in Cameron and Lower Vermilion Parishes were damaged beyond repair. The most quoted total of lives lost by all causes due to Audrey is around 526 people ; most of them were in Cameron Parish. Damages in Louisiana totaled $120 million. The most curious aspect of the storm was the exodus of wildlife preceding it. On the evening before landfall, thousands of crawfish were seen fleeing the marshes around Cameron. A few enterprising locals decided to collect them and put them in their freezer,  unaware of the significance of this event. Needless to say, these crawfish were never brought to a boil the following day, as planned. See Texas Hurricane History for more on this storm.

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September 15th, 1960 (Ethel): Hurricane Ethel quickly developed in the Central Gulf of Mexico before moving accelerating northward along the extreme southeast sections of the Mississippi Delta, before moving inland at Biloxi. Hurricane force winds were seen in Lower Plaquemines parish. Venice had sustained winds of 90 mph with gusts to 104 mph. Burrwood saw gusts to 69 mph. The highest tide noted was 7 ft. above M.S.L. on Quarantine Bay at 4 am CST. Storm surges inundated the coast from the Mouth of the Mississippi east to St. Marks, FL.

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September 10-12th, 1961 (Carla): Hurricane Carla caused severe erosion along the entire coast in mid-September. Winds gusted to 56 m.p.h. at Lake Charles. Ten tornadoes were spawned across the state.  Carla smashed a $50,000 fishing pier in Holly Beach and a row of houses along the coast. Road damage reached $300,000. At Hackberry, a large oil storage tank was displaced 6-7 miles northwest of its original location. Grand Isle received flooding, but no structural damage. Damage was also seen along the Calcasieu Ship Channel northward to Lake Charles. Some oil rigs offshore were moved 8 to 10 feet towards the coast, despite being anchored 8 feet deep into the Gulf bottom.  "Storm surges" of over 5 feet were seen along the Mississippi Delta and up to 7.6 feet at Cameron. Total damages in Louisiana reached $25 million. Six people lost their lives in the storm. See Texas Hurricane History for more details on this major hurricane.

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October 2nd-3rd, 1964 (Hilda): Hurricane Hilda caused severe coastal erosion and local flooding, along with 39 associated deaths as it hit Salt Point. Tornadoes were spawned at Golden Meadow, Galliano, Larose, Kenner, Metarie, and New Orleans. The Larose Tornado alone caused 24 of the deaths and a staggering 345 injuries. A large water tower collapsing on the Erath City Hall killed around 10 people. Franklin reported a pressure of 28.40" and winds estimated at 135 mph. Winds of hurricane force spread across much of Southeast Louisiana. Over 10" of rain fell across Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. Jeanerette saw 17.71" of rain. The Gulf invaded Cocodrie up to a depth of 7.8 feet. Offshore, the Oil Driller, 100 miles south of Morgan City, had their anemometer pegged at 120 mph throughout the night of the 2nd/3rd. Waves over 50 feet high lashed the rig for hours. Damage totaled $53 million.

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September 9-10th, 1965 (Betsy): Hurricane Betsy, moving unusually fast through the Gulf at forward speeds of 22 mph, came ashore Grand Isle as a major hurricane. Winds gusted to 125 mph and the pressure fell to 28.75" at New Orleans. The sea level pressure there dropped to 28.00" at Grand Isle and Houma. Port Eads gauged winds to 136 mph.

A 10 foot storm surge was produced causing New Orleans its worst flooding in decades... but they were lucky compared to Grand Isle, which saw a 15.7 foot surge on its northern coast and wind gusts to 160 m.p.h.. Wind gusting to 100 mph covered Southeast Louisiana. Winds of hurricane force spread as far west as Lafayette and as far inland as St. Landry parish. Even Alexandria and Monroe saw winds in excess of 60 mph.

Storm surges were seen as far east as Mobile. Hundreds of ships, tugs, and barges were sunk or driven aground from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Following the storm, the levee was elevated to 12 feet by the Orleans Levee Board. Offshore and coastal oil installations, along with public utilities, reported unprecedented damage. Fall crops were in ruins and many livestock drowned. Damage throughout Southeast Louisiana totaled $1.4 billion and 81 lives were lost, 58 of which in Louisiana.

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August 17-18, 1969 (Camille): The most intense hurricane known to ever make landfall in the United States also made its mark in Louisiana. The pressure fell to a very low 27.80" on Garden Island. Winds gusted to 125 mph at Slidell, and their pressure fell to 28.75" on the 9th. Almost total destruction was seen from Venice to Buras. Ostrica Lock saw a storm surge of 16 feet. Water over-washed U.S. Highway 90 to a depth of 10 feet.

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September 16th, 1971 (Edith): A relatively small hurricane, moved inland that day near Pecan Island. Peak winds at Cameron were 69 m.p.h. with gusts to 96 m.p.h.. The pressure fell to 29.11" at Lafayette as winds gusted to 69 mph. Morgan City saw gusts to 72 mph. A tornado made its mark on Baton Rouge. Storm surges ranged from 5 to 8 feet along the Louisiana coastline... highest in Vermilion and Cote Blanche Bays. Several tornadoes spun up, with the most serious in East Baton Rouge tracking 7 miles. Some damage occurred but Edith caused no deaths across Cameron or Vermilion Parishes. See Texas Hurricane History for more details.

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September 7-8th, 1974 (Carmen): Carmen moved inland just east of Vermilion Bay near Point Au Fer after crossing the Gulf of Mexico as a major hurricane. Winds reached 110 m.p.h. at the Bayou Boeuf oil rig near Ameila, 100 m.p.h. with gusts to 120 m.p.h. at the KROF radio station in Abbeville, and 85 m.p.h. at Morgan City. Damage was mostly due to the sugar crop and offshore oil installations. Two tornadoes were spawned on the morning of September 8th: One in Franklin at 4 am which destroyed a service station, and another at Kaplan at 9 am. Tides of 4-6 feet above mean sea level went ashore along the coasts of St. Mary, Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jefferson, and Plaquemines Parishes. Bootheville received the most rain: 7.81". Total damages from the hurricane reached $150 million. Three deaths were indirectly associated with Carmen.1977: Babe developed in the Gulf of Mexico as a Subtropical Storm; relatively rare during the month of September. It moved northward into Southeast Louisiana on September 5th and briefly reached hurricane status prior to landfall. After landfall, the storm finally took on tropical characteristics fully. Wind and water damage occurred in St. Mary, Iberia, and St. Martin parishes. The satellite picture to the left was taken after Babe had moved inland at 9 P.M. CDT on September 6th (courtesy of the National Hurricane Center).

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July 11th, 1979 (Bob): Hurricane Bob struck Terrebonne Bay on July 11th. It was a very well behaved storm and was quite predictable in track and strength. Highest storm surge reported was 5.02 ft on the north end of the causeway bridge across Lake Pontchartrain. The pressure fell to 29.28" at Moisant Field, as winds gusted to 44 mph during the storm. One tornado was reported in Slidell. One person died, being blown off his roof as he was nailing it down during the hurricane.

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August 16th, 1985 (Danny): Danny, a minimal hurricane, came ashore near Pecan Island August 16th. In Abbeville, winds gusting to 114 mph blew off the roof of a school. High winds destroyed an airplane hangar in Iowa. Trees were uprooted throughout Southern and Central Louisiana. Thirty-nine tornadoes were spawned throughout the Southeastern United States, most occurred as Danny tracked northeast through Alabama and Tennessee. Only 3 touchdowns were noted across Louisiana. Storm surges of 8 feet were seen along the coast of South Central Louisiana. Highway 46 near Hopedale in St. Bernard Parish was impassable due to the high waters. The pier at Grand Isle State Park was damaged, while a pier near Slidell was demolished. Coastal erosion was greatest in Terrebonne and Lower Jefferson Parishes. Seven injuries were reported, but no one died in the storm. Six of the injuries were due to the capsizing of a 41 foot sailboat near the Timbalier Islands. Sugar cane and soybean crops were damaged extensively. Total damages were estimated to be near $14 million.

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September 2nd, 1985 (Elena): Elena hit the Mississippi shore just east of the Mouth of the Mississippi and was the second of 3 hurricanes to hit the state that season. Many chose to evacuate southeast sections: 400,000 in fact. Elena entered Washington Parish as a Category 1 hurricane and downed numerous trees. Around 15,000 lost power. Massive erosion occurred in the Chandeleurs; 30 to 40 percent of those islands eroded away.

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October 27-31st, 1985 (Juan): Juan looped across Southern Louisiana for several days in late October 1985; highest wind gust recorded at NWS Lake Charles was 49 m.p.h., highest recorded during the month of October since records began in 1939. Ten inches of rain fell across Southwest Louisiana and extreme Southeast Texas, with pockets of over 15 inches near Jennings and Galliano. Storm surges were 8 feet at Cocodrie. However, this is where the parallels to Danny end. LA 1 south of Leeville and LA 3090 near Fourchon were destroyed. Three bridges were washed out near Lacombe
on LA 434. Levees were overtopped in Lockport, Marrero, Oswego, and Myrtle Grove; this added to the already serious flooding. Two hundred cattle were drowned in Terrebonne Parish. Grand Isle was under 4 feet of sea water; 1200 residents were trapped on the island as the storm surge cut off any evacuation attempts early on.Offshore, things were far worse. An oil rig 35 miles south of Leeville collapsed, then smashed into a neighboring rig while in 20 foot seas and hurricane force winds late on the 27th. The ship Miss Agnes sank during a rescue operation 60 miles south of Morgan City that day. The rig A.M. Howard capsized early on the 29th. The boat Kiwi sank while in the Atchafalaya Bay. This all led to nine lives being lost offshore. Total damages exceeded $300 million and 12 people died in all. Damages from Danny, Elena, and Juan across Louisiana totaled $2.5 billion and 19 people perished.

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June 26th, 1986 (Bonnie): Bonnie, a minimal hurricane, moved ashore just southwest of Sabine Pass on the 26th, then moved northward through East Texas before recurving northeast into Arkansas on the 27th. Some beach property was damaged in Cameron Parish with water damaging coastal roadways in Western Cameron Parish. Five tornadoes were caused by Bonnie in Louisiana; three in DeSoto and Webster Parishes alone, located in the northern section of the state. At 2 am CST on the 27th, a period of 10-14 hours of heavy rain fell in Northwest Louisiana in Caddo, Bossier, and Northern DeSoto Parishes, causing extensive flash flooding between 5 and 9 am CST.  Interstate 20 was under 5 feet of water. US 71 and LA 1 were cut by flash flooding. Flooding alone caused $10 million in damages. Only one person died in the storm, when winds overturned his fishing boat in Cross Lake. See Texas Hurricane History for more on Bonnie.

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September 9th, 1988 (Florence): A coastal trough developed over the Western Gulf of Mexico on September 1st at the tail end of an old frontal zone. It moved into Southeast Louisiana on the 4th, but began drifting south again as a strong high pressure system dived south out of Canada. On the 6th, it had moved southwest into the Western Gulf of Mexico before drifting back to the east on the 7th. It finally developed enough tropical characteristics to be designated a tropical storm, and moved north toward Louisiana. It rapidly strengthened and became a hurricane before striking Port Eads on the 9th. However, the system had begun weakening as dry air began to intrude into the western portion of the circulation. It became extra-tropical by the 11th, as dry air continued to wrap  around the western semicircle. The low dissipated later that day, as it drifted northwest over Oklahoma. Highest winds reported were at New Orleans Lakefront Airport, which received a gust to 61 m.p.h.. Lowest pressure noted inland was 29.26" at New Orleans Naval Air Station. Highest rain total with the system was 4.05" near Watson. Significant beach erosion occurred along Grand Isle. Trees were downed, mostly in Orleans Parish. The storm surge flooded LA 300 near Delacroix. Total damages were estimated near $2.5 million.

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September 15-19, 1988 (Gilbert): Hurricane Gilbert, the first category five hurricane to make landfall since 1969, struck Louisiana and Texas on September 15 through 19. The storm caused coastal floods in Louisiana and produced excessive rains across Texas and Oklahoma

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August 26th, 1992 (Andrew): Andrew, a major hurricane, slammed into South Florida on August 24th before striking the Louisiana coastline August 26th. Seven people died and 94 were injured across Southern Louisiana during Andrew. Winds reached hurricane force from Lafayette eastward to the Atchafalaya. The highest gusts reported were: 39 m.p.h. at Lake Charles Regional Airport, 66 m.p.h. at Moisant International Airport in New Orleans, 71 m.p.h. at Lafayette Regional Airport, 83 m.p.h. at Salt Point in St. Mary Parish, 104 m.p.h. at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse, 153 m.p.h. at the New Iberia Emergency Operating Center, and 173 m.p.h. at the Drilling Barge on Bayou Teche in St. Mary Parish.  Rainfall totals from Andrew exceeded 5 inches over a four day period  from August 24-28 in many locations...with Robert receiving 11.02" and Hammond receiving 11.92". The storm surge moved inland from Lake Borgne westward to the Vermilion Bay...the highest surge reported was at 6.48 feet at Bayou Dupre. An F3 tornado struck LaPlace and stayed on the ground until reaching Reserve in St. John the Baptist Parish which caused 2 of the deaths. Around 1 1/2 million people evacuated across Southern Louisiana with damages estimated near 1 billion dollars in Louisiana.

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October 4th, 1995 (Opal): Opal, after moving aimlessly in the Bay of Campeche for days, moved northeastward, passing 150 miles off the Mississippi Delta towards the Florida panhandle on the morning of the 4th. Rainfall amounts were greater than two inches across Southeast Louisiana. Winds in extreme Plaquemines Parish were near 60 mph with gusts to hurricane force. To the right is an infrared satellite picture of Opal, taken October 4th, 1995 by GOES-8.

Damage occurred to area roofs and also to some mobile homes. Gale force winds were seen in Southern Lafourche, Jefferson, and East St. Bernard Parishes. Storm surges were 3 to 5 feet from Grand Isle eastward. Significant damage occurred across the barrier islands of Southeast Louisiana. Ten thousand people evacuated the region. One person was injured when the large flag he was lowering became a parasail, tossing him high into the air and causing significant injuries.

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October 5-8th, 1996 (Josephine): A gale center in the Western Gulf of Mexico that became Josephine teamed up with a strong high pressure ridge over the Southeast United States. This caused strong east to northeast winds, inducing tides to 4 feet above normal along the entire Louisiana coast. The highest tide noted was 5.5 feet at Bayou Bienvenue, near Lake Borgne. Highway 1 was under a foot of water. A few homes and roads were also flooded in Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes, outside the flood control levees. Damages totaled $5.5 million.

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July 1997 (another Danny): A cluster of showers and thunderstorms moved off the Louisiana coast on July 13th, leaving strong winds and damage in its wake in Southern Louisiana. A low level circulation became apparent south of Houma early on the afternoon of the 14th and drifted slowly southwest. By the 16th, the low had stalled near 27N 92W...about 150 miles offshore. By late in the day, the system had developed into a tropical depression. Early on the 17th, the center jumped about 80 miles to the east-northeast and the system began to intensify rapidly.

Danny had formed that morning and became a hurricane by the next day as it slowly moved east-northeast. Winds gusted to 95 m.p.h. at Grand Isle, just as the center made a brief landfall on the morning of the 18th, before progressing over to Mobile to cause copious amounts of rain in the vicinity of Dauphin Island as the system stalled again late on the 19th through early on the 21st.  Danny then moved northward to Western Alabama before making a hard right, moving across Atlanta and Raleigh-Durham. As it moved across North Carolina, it became a tropical storm again and moved northeast
off the lower Virginia coast on the morning of the 24th, becoming an extra-tropical storm just off Nantucket the next evening. Storm surge was 5.4 feet at Grand Isle, which caused significant flooding to the island along with moderate to severe beach erosion. Rain totaled 9.32" at Buras, where 170 boats sustained damage. Ninety-one businesses and 173 houses experienced damage in Plaquemine and Jefferson Parishes.

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September 10-14th, 1998 (Frances): On the 7th, an area of disturbed weather formed in the Central Gulf of Mexico. It was complex with a broad area of low pressure, induced by a nearby upper low to the west of the circulation. Strong easterly winds had barely relaxed after Charley, which had just made landfall in Texas, before redeveloping. Air Force aircraft investigated the system on the 8th, and a tropical depression was found 220 miles southeast of Corpus Christi. It moved very little over the next 24 hours, slowly strengthening into a tropical storm by the 9th.Strong winds along the Louisiana and Texas coasts increased, resulting in a large area of coastal flooding. Sabine Pass was cut off to travel by land on the 10th and remained so for the next week, until Hermine passed by to the east. Frances began to move north on the 10th, and the drought-ending rains began. A large area of tropical storm force winds buffeted the coasts of Louisiana and Texas, worsening the coastal flooding and leading to backwater flooding of area rivers, as water was no longer able to drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Meacom's pier was nearly destroyed. San Luis Pass pier was damaged. Grand Isle went underwater, but water never reached the homes as they were on pilings rising up from the island. Tides ran as high as 5.4 feet at Cameron and Sabine Pass. Five homes in Constance Beach fell into the Gulf, while sand piles up on Holly Beach. Offshore oil platforms saw howling winds reaching as high as 90 mph in gusts. The system strengthened and moved north as feeder bands moved inland, increasing the rainfall across the region. The deluge caused a large area of 10 inches of rain or more across southern Louisiana and eastern Texas.  The highest rain totals noted were 21.10" at Terrytown in Southeast Louisiana and 14.62" at the Lacassine Wildlife Refuge, ten miles south of Lake Arthur. The pressure induced by all the rain in New Orleans caused manholes to be blown skyward. Sections of I-10 in New Orleans and Houston were underwater on the 11th. Roads and bridges were submerged near Corpus Christi. Numerous towns evacuated in the face of flash flooding.The center made landfall at midnight on the night of the 10th near
Matagorda, Texas and became stationary again on the 11th, prolonging the wind and rain. During the 12th, the system resumed its northerly course through East Texas before accelerating into Iowa on the 14th. Rains of five inches or more soaked Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri. At least 8 tornadoes touched down across the state on the 11th and 12th.  Seven tornadoes wreaked havoc across South Central Louisiana near Lake Arthur, Estherwood, Basile, Oberlin, and Lafayette. For more information on the South Central Louisiana tornadoes, see our tornado outbreak page. A Lafourche parish man was killed when a tornado destroyed his mobile home.The coastal flooding and beach erosion were the worst seen since Carla (1961). River flooding was significant across East Texas and Louisiana. A major disaster declaration was issued for Cameron, Jefferson, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes. Over $10 million in damage was experienced across Southwest Louisiana and Extreme Southeast Texas.

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September 27-28th, 1998 (Georges): In mid-September, a tropical storm formed in the East Atlantic. It moved west-northwest and became a major hurricane as it approached the Lesser Antilles. Georges left a trail of destruction as it raked the Virgin Islands and most of the islands of the Greater Antilles. Over $2 billion in damages occurred as Georges terrorized the West Indies. The hurricane struck the Mississippi coast at Category 2 intensity. Winds gusted to 55 mph at New Orleans Lakefront Airport...the pressure fell to 29.37". Storm surges above seven feet overflowed some of the land surrounding Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne...a storm surge of 8.9 feet was noted at Northeast Gardene Bay, east of Pointe a la Hache. A large number of fishing camps were damaged or destroyed along Lake Pontchartrain. Two died from Georges in Louisiana.

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Oct. 3, 2002 - Hurricane Lili

Hurricane Lili was a Category 4 Hurricane in Vermilion Bay as it approached landfall in St. Mary and Iberia Parishes with a predicted 20 ft. storm surge;  but it weakened to a Category 2 before making landfall.

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Monday, August 29, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina

Katrina was a Category 5 Storm with winds up to 175 miles an hour, but weakened to a Category 4 before making landfall below New Orleans in Plaquemines and Saint Bernard Parishes. The storm, however, weakened the levee system which broke in several places [one place - the Industrial Canal - was weakened by a barge which rammed into it.] and over 90% of New Orleans was flooded.  Katrina also devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast and caused damage on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The official death toll is 1697; however, Columbia geo-physicist and earth scientist John Mutter believes that the number is "well in excess of 2000"

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September 17-24, 2005 - Hurricane Rita

Rita hit South Florida and the Florida Keys as a Category 2 storm on September 20. As it moved away from Florida, Rita became Category 5. After weakening, Rita came ashore as a Category 3 between Sabine Pass, Texas and Johnson Bayou, Louisiana at 2:30 a.m. CDT. Water from Rita came down the Intracoastal Canal and water was also pushed in from the bays. The natural levees of the Intracoastal Canal that had been formed by dirt when the Intracoastal Canal was dug had severely eroded over the years from barge traffic and they were breached. Eighty percent of the homes in Erath, Vermilion Parish, LA were flooded, and serious flooding ocurred elsewhere in Cermilion Parish as well as in Iberia and St. Mary Parishes.

On September 23, 2005,  the outer bands of the storm caused a breach in the Industrial Canal levee in New Orleans in the lower ninth ward causing re-flooding of the area.  The largest evacuation in Texas history was undertaken on September 22, 2005.  The traffic was backed up for 100 miles on IH-45; and, 24 elderly persons died on the morning on September 23, 2005 ten miles south of Dallas when a bus exploded from oxygen tanks ignited by sparks from the brakes.

Note: Johnson Bayou, Louisiana  was wiped out by a hurricane on October 11-13, 1886. Surnames at Johnson Bayou included  Berwick, Billiot, Burch, Leboeuf, Peltier, Peveto, Pleasant [i.e. Plaisance], Nunez, Trahan, Turpin.

Note: The 2005 Hurricane Season broke all records! There were 27 named storms, fourteen of which were hurricanes and three of the hurricanes were Category 5. Tropical Storm, Epsilon became Hurricane Epsilon on December 2, 2005 - two days after the official hurricane season ended on November 30, 2005!  No hurricane has been known to hit the United States between December and May. Epsilon is only the 5th hurricane in 120 years to form in December. The latest hurricane to form in the Caribbean occurred Dec. 30, 1954.

Despite predictions of an active hurricane season for 2006, none made landfall in the United States; and, only three tropical storms made landfall. Tropical Storm Alberto came ashore in Florida's Big Bend region in June, then moved north through Georgia and South Carolina; Tropical Storm Beryl brushed Cape Cod in July; and Tropical Storm Ernesto made landfalls in southern Florida on August 30 and along the North Carolina coast two days later.

September 13, 2007: Hurricane Humberto - Grew faster than any storm on record from tropical depression to full-scale hurricane

Although Hurricane Humberto officially made landfall at High Island, Texas, it became a tropical depression over Louisiana. The hurricane was a system of showers and thunderstorms which organized into a tropical depression by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007. By 1:00 p.m. on Sept. 12th, it strengthened into Tropical storm Humberto. By 12:15 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007, it became a hurricane. At 2:00 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007, it made landfall at High Island, Texas. By 10 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2007, it was downgraded to a tropical storm.  By 4:00 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2007, it was a tropical depression over central Louisiana.

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August 31, 2008: Hurricane Gustav

Hurricane Gustav caused serious damage and casualties in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and the United States. It caused over $20 billion in damages - the fourth most destructive hurricane to ever hit the United States.

It formed on the morning of August 25, 2008, about 260 miles (420 km) southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and rapidly strengthened into a tropical storm that afternoon and into a hurricane early on August 26. Later that day it made landfall near the Haitian town of Jacmel. It inundated Jamaica and ravaged Western Cuba and then steadily moved across the Gulf of Mexico.

On August 31, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicted with 81% probability that Gustav would remain at Category 3 or above on September 1, but on September 1 at 9:30 a.m. CDT (1430 UTC) the center of Gustav made landfall in the United States along the Louisiana coast near Cocodrie [see map] as a strong Category 2 hurricane, 1 mph below Category 3. It dropped to Category 1 four hours later, and to a tropical depression the following day. Gustav continued moving northwest through Louisiana, before slowing down significantly as it moved through Arkansas on September 3.

Hurricane Gustav caused 94 deaths in the Caribbean; and, as of September 15, 2008, 46 deaths in Louisiana.

September 13, 2008: Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike made U.S. landfall at Galveston, Texas, on September 13 at 2:10am CDT, as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 mph.  It had the same path as the 1900 Galveston Storm. 

During the day of September 13, Ike began a slow turn to the north and then northeast. After losing strength to Tropical Storm force winds, it passed 100 miles to the east of Dallas, Texas; and west of Little Rock, Arkansas. It became a Tropical Depression and continued northeast, passing near St. Louis, Missouri. It brought heavy rainfall all along its path, but moved more quickly the farther north it went.  On Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008, President Bush declared Federal Disaster Areas for the following 10 parishes:

Acadia, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Sabine, St. Mary, Vermilion and Vernon

Levees overtopped in the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Terrebonne, St. Mary and Jefferson

Early on September 14, Ike merged with a large cold front moving from west to east across the central United States, and dissipated.

As of October 5, 2008, 71 deaths in the US have been attributed to Hurricane Ike: Texas [36]; Louisiana [8]; Arkansas [1]; Tennessee [2]; Ohio [5]; Indiana [7]; Illinois [2]; Missouri [4]; Kentucky [2]; Pennsylvania [2]; and Michigan [2].   Estimates for the number of missing persons range up to 300.   More than 1 million people evacuated the Texas coast ahead of Ike.  As of Feb. 12, 2009, the following deaths, unidentified and missing were reported for Galveston Co., the Bolivar Peninsula, Goat Island and Pelican Island: 20 Galveston Co. deaths, including 9 on the Bolivar Peninsula; 5 unidentified bodies bodies: 4 women and 1 man washed up on Goat and Pelican Islands; and 9 missing - all believed to have been on the Bolivar Peninsula.  Also, as of Feb. 12, 2009, Chambers Co. was still searching 6 million cubic yards of debris that came from the Bolivar Peninsula.

Note: One additional death was identified on January 4, 2010 when the remains of Harry E. Bingham, Jr., age 61, was identified by DNA testing. The remains were found in Chambers County.  Mr. Bingham was living in Galveston County when Ike came ashore.

Estimated damages to the Gulf Coast is $27 Billion. Louisiana had over $318M in flood losses related to Ike.  Ike also caused $4 Billion in damages to Haiti and 145 deaths.

November 10, 2009: Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida made landfall on Tuesday, November 10, 2009.  The center first touched land on Dauphin Island, Alabama before heading across Mobile Bay toward the Alabama mainland and on to Florida.  Heavy rain from the storm continued in Tennessee, the Carolinas and Georgia.  In Louisiana, 70-year old fisherman Leo Ancalade was presumed dead after he was knocked off his boat by a wave as Ida approached on Monday, November 9, 2009.

August 28-29, 2012: Hurricane Isaac [2012]- See Wikipedia Article on Hurricane Isaac

Isaac's storm surge was so powerful that the Mississippi River ran backwards for 24 hours!

Plaquemines Parish, LA was especially hard hit by Isaac which pushed more thant 12 feet of storm surge and monsoonlike rains that flooded some communities to the rooftops.

Remnants of Hurricane Isaac rebounded into a depression in the Gulf below New Orleans. For a while, it appeared to be able to reform into a Tropical Storm, but it dissipated. Hurricane Isaac also revealed the wreakage of the Schooner Rachel which ran aground near historic Fort Morgan on Oct. 17, 1923 in a minimal hurricane. The same storm caused damage in Louisiana on Oct. 16, 1923.

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Information for the storms from October 23, 1527 to 1998 was provided [except as noted] in a series of web pages by

David Roth
National Weather Service

The url for the original series was http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lch/research/la18hu.php [Note: As of Sept. 7, 2012, this link is broken - slb]

The following statement of public use was contained on the privacy policy statement:

These World Wide Web pages are provided as a public service by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS).

Information presented on these pages is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

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