Those left alive after Hurricane Audrey hit Cameron in 1957 thought they had seen the storm of their lives. They were wrong.
In 2005 Hurricane Rita made landfall on the western coast of Cameron Parish, bringing more damage than Audrey, but far less loss of life. Fifty years of technological advancement allowed the people of the parish to know exactly when the storm would arrive, helping them to leave well ahead of it. Many said they never thought they would see another storm like Audrey, and some of them left the lower part of the parish for good.
For those who made the choice to stay and rebuild, the hope was that it would be another 50 years or more before that kind of damage would be dealt again. They got three.
Hurricane Ike is currently gliding across the Gulf of Mexico on a collision course with Galveston Island, TX. The national media is focusing on the devastation that may come to the fourth largest city in the nation. What is being left out is that Cameron Parish is predicted to receive nearly the same amount of storm surge as it did three years ago; a tide high enough to submerge most of the buildings that survived the previous storm, and may take some of the homes built to the higher flood elevation after Rita.
The few people who remain there tonight are packing their lives once more into their vehicles. They will try to sleep tonight, and leave early in the morning. A 6' tide is expected tonight: one that will not recede. As those few sleep, a full complement of sheriff's deputies are patrolling the parish, watching the water to alert them should it reach a threatening level. As they lie in their beds, awaiting slumber that will prove fitful at most, they hope and pray that the predictions are wrong.
Please, God, let them be wrong.