Map of Hurricane Camille's Rainfall
When Hurricane Camille struck land near Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, it was a category five hurricane, with recorded wind speeds at more than 200 miles per hour. Wind damage killed 143 people in the Gulf Coast region. Unexpectedly, however, Camille turned east across Kentucky and Virginia, and during the evening of August 19, 1969, the rain intensified dramatically. This map, produced by the National Weather Service, shows both the storm's path across the southeast and the volume of rainfall. The darkly colored band through central Virginia represents Camille's heaviest downpour. Nelson County, Virginia, received the brunt of the storm with at least twenty-seven inches of rainfall. So much rain fell in such a short time in Nelson County that, according to the National Weather Service at the time, it was "the probable maximum rainfall which meteorologists compute to be theoretically possible."