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Hurricane Camille – 44 Years Ago Today on August 19,1969 The Skies Opened Up

[ 2 ] August 19, 2013 |


Our September 2008 (Then Nelson County Life Magazine) revealing some the the very first color pictures taken by Photographer Brower York of the tragedy that struck Nelson County, killing dozens and destroying millions in property. Click on issue above to read the entire article and see the photos starting on page 12.

Nelson County, VA
Below, our 2011 story on the placing of a wreath on the marker at the Rockfish Trail Loop to remember those who lost their lives in August 1969

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 Historical Society has an entire room devoted to the history of Hurricane Camille and its effect on Nelson County at the Oakland Museum.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.

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Comments (2)

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  1. JOHN WRIGHT says:

    I REMEMBER THIS LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. I WAS LIVING IN LYNCHBURG VA AT THE TIME AND WORKING FOR THE VA. ABC BOARD AS A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR. THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD I HEADED OUT TO MASSIES MILL IN MY FORD BRONCO AND IT TOOK ME UNTIL LATE AFTERNOON TRAVELING BACKROADS AND RUNNING THRU WATER UP IN THE FLOORBOARD TO REACH MASSIES MILL.
    HAVING LIVED AT ROSELAND UNTIL I WAS TEN YEARS OLD, I WAS VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE AREA BUT IT WAS HARD TO RECOGNIZE WHAT WAS LEFT OF MASSIES MILL.
    AFTER GETTING THERE, I HELPED WITH THE BODY RECOVERY OF MRS HUGHES AND A YOUNG BLACK FEMALE WHO WERE ON AN ISLAND JUST BELOW MASSIES MILL.

    FOR THE NEXT FOURTEEN DAYS, I RETURNED TO THE AREA EACH DAY AND WORKED ON LOCATING AND PICKING UP BODIES AND TRANSPORTING THEM TO THE HELICOPTERS WHO WERE CARRYING THEM TO LOVINGSTON FOR IDENTIFICATION.

    JOHN WRIGHT
    AMHERST, VA.

  2. Judith Burks Burton says:

    I remember this horrific event as a small child living in Amherst. We were visiting my grandparents in Halifax Co. the night hurricane Camille came throug Nelson Co. I can remember how upset my parents were as we were driving home the next day.

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