(Senior Storm Chaser)
Thu Sep 01 2005 12:25 AM

I saw they finally reached Waveland and Bay St Louis (by helicopter). It was just as bad as I feared. There was nothing in this area but slabs and trees with all the leaves ripped off. Remember I believed this to be the area with the highest surge...although it hasn't been measured yet. This is the place where there was so much water there was nothing off of I-10 but a lake according to an eyewitness account...the water was so high it covered everything.

There isn't even very much debris in Waveland because it appears it was all washed out to sea.

It looks like the destruction in BSL also went up the back bay and Jordan River and leveled everything there (I think the video may have been of Diamondhead). Of course the Hwy 90 bridge was gone.

The reason I believe the surge to be so high here is that this is the area that was hit directly by the northern eyewall coming from the south. Usually when a hurricane hits a south-facing coastline the largest surge is just to the east of the eye. However I believe in this case with the winds rotating CCW that as the large eye moved north and the curve of this extremely large eye fit the curve of the shoreline, the storm surge that was being pushed north was concentrated by the strong eyewall winds and pushed west into the curve of the shoreline. This is why I also believe that Slidell and the LA coast next to MS also received a very high storm surge. Also, remember watching the storm on radar, I saw a very intense portion of the eyewall rotate around the radar and move over the Waveland to Slidell area.

I would not be surprised to learn upon analysis that the storm surge was over 40 feet in this area.

Something else that has been on my mind...

Not too many weeks ago Clark posted a link that let you view satellite images of a hurricane's path and you could see the slabs from communities that didn't rebuild after Andrew. Well I used the same satellite image viewer to go over the Waveland BSL area that was ground zero for Camille in 1969. I found a small area that was clearly the imprint of a small housing development that had never been rebuilt; although it looked like the slabs had been covered with green, you could still see the outline of where the homes had been.

Now those entire cities are basically nothing but slabs.

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