Alex stirs memories of Hurricane Audrey

By Jason Belk - bio | email

CAMERON, LA (KPLC) - Fifty-three years ago on Sunday, Hurricane Audrey made landfall in Cameron, claiming hundreds of lives.

Due to a lack of technology, the storm somewhat snuck up on those living along the coast.

"They didn't know anything really was out there until about the 25th, when it actually started showing up as the outer periphery bands of Brownsville," said Donovan Landreneaux, a forecaster for the National Weather Service.

Technological improvements have allowed forecasters to better follow storms, and predict their paths, giving people ample time to evacuate.

This was seen with Hurricane Rita in 2005, a storm similar in size to Audrey, but with far fewer casualties.

While tracking hurricanes has certainly become easier in the last 53 years, storms like Audrey and Rita have served as a reminder for the people of Cameron as to why it's important to be prepared when hurricane season comes around.

"It made us look closer at things. It made us thankful for what we do have, because we've seen how fast that it can go and disappear from us," said Cameron Sheriff, Theos Duhon.

He went on to say, "It made us respect Mother Nature and what it can do, and understand that we need to get out and get out ahead of time."

With the eyes of Southwest Louisiana on Alex in the Gulf on this 53rd anniversary of Hurricane Audrey, the stories of the devastation caused will serve as a constant reminder.

"From what I saw with Rita and Ike, Cameron really didn't have a problem or hesitate to evacuate, because they were handed down many stories from their fathers and grandparents about Audrey, so when we say something is similar to Audrey, they pretty much evacuate," said Landreneaux.

Taking precaution and being prepared are the harsh lessons Audrey taught, and ones that will not soon be forgotten.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.