Remembering Hurricane Audrey's Victims - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Remembering Hurricane Audrey's Victims

July 1, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

It was 50 years ago July 1st that the people of Cameron began laying to rest the victims killed in the wake of Hurricane Audrey. Cameron native Genevieve Bishop Colston was 17 years old at the time and the only one in her family to survive the storm. 

"I lost my parents, my brother, two sisters and a niece," said Colston.  

The bodies of her family were never identified and are thought to be among more than 50 victims laid to rest here in Combre Memorial Park. Left with only memories of her loved ones, Genevieve has visited the memorial site many times over the years to pay her respects. She says she can't believe it's been 50 years.

"It seems like yesterday. And with Hurricane Rita it made it much worse for us," said Colston.

Sunday she gathered with others who experienced great loss June 27th 1957. Leading the blessing and rededication of the graves is recently ordained Lake Charles Bishop John Provost.

"My dear friends. We gather today to pray for our brothers and sisters who perished in Hurricane Audrey. They have passed from death to life in the company with the lord Jesus," said Bishop Provost.  

Though new to the area, Bishop Provost felt it was only appropriate on the 50th anniversary of the burial day to remember the victims and those who were left behind.

"I think the ceremony like this helps them to put in the context of prayer and faith which is so important to them," said Bishop Provost.  

"I'm so thankful for him coming out. I truly am... It means so much to us... To all of us," said Colston.  

Through prayer they ask for mercy during this hurricane season... Sparing us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time.

"There will always be a part of me here and in Cameron," said Colston. 

A similar service was held at Highland Memorial Gardens, where other victims from Hurricane Audrey are buried.

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