42 Years Ago. The Skies Opened Up. Then Silence.

Photo By Tommy Stafford : ©2011 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Amy Webb, owner of Blue Ridge Floral Designs, places a commemorative wreath on the historical marker at the Rockfish Valley Trailhead Friday morning (8.19.11) to remember the dozens killed in Nelson County during Hurricane Camille in August 1969.

South Of Nellysford
Nelson County, Virginia

Back in 2008 Peter and Betsy Agelasto of Elk Hill made sure there was a permanent marker put up to remember the dozens of people that died here in Nelson. Hurricane Camille was their fate. Camille was one of the 10 most devastating hurricanes in history. Each year The Agelasto’s have Amy Webb place commemorative wreath where the marker is at the start of the Rockfish Valley Trailhead.

Graphic courtesy of National Hurricane Center : Camille came ashore as a deadly category 5 hurricane on the Mississippi Gulf Coast then stalled over Virginia as a major tropical depression dumping 20+ inches of rain on Nelson County in less than 24 hours.
Old Photos By Brower York : ©1969-2011 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Nelson County, VA destruction in 1969 from Hurricane Camille as seen through the lens of photographer Brower York.
Relief helicopters line up along Route 29 in 1969.
Traffic being diverted by state police at Route 6 & 151 in the Martins Store area. This is where the large CVEC electrical substation is toady.
Photographer Brower York captures this shot in 1969 of a landing strip set up on Route 29 to render aid to victims of Hurricane Camille.

Nelson County’s Museum of Rural History has an entire room devoted to the history of Hurricane Camille and its effect on Nelson County. You can see the old photographs above along with countless more from photographer Brower York’s collection.

You can read all of our past coverage and mentions of Hurricane Camille by clicking here.


  1. Lived in Massies Mill that day. It was my birthday. Lost a friend Sandy Raines. My dad was one of the first who began pulling people free the day after the incident. He then spent days searching for the dead and missing. It still bothers him to this date, but he was a one of a number of heros at a time when the community needed lots of them.


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