Pat Shingleton: "Direct Hits..."
Louisiana’s August storms include Hurricane Camille that scraped the southeast coast on August 17, 1969. Prior to Gustav, Hurricane Andrew was the worst storm to hit the Baton Rouge area on August 26, 1992 and of course Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005. Louisiana ranks first for incidents of direct hurricane hits on the United States mainland and individual states since 1851 with a total of 21 with August and September the most active months. Three of the top four most intense mainland hurricanes, Camille, Katrina and Andrew, struck Louisiana with Katrina the costliest causing $106 million in damage followed by Andrew and Gustav with more than $45 million in damage. On this date in 1766, a powerful hurricane leveled the tiny village of Trois-Islets on the island of Martinique. Joseph-Gaspard Tascher was one of the island's wealthy planters and suffered total financial ruin from the devastating storm. In dire straits, he did what many attempted in those days; marrying their offspring into money. After the storm, his young daughter, Marie Josephine Rose, returned to France and married an army officer, the Vicomte de Beauharnais, who was guillotined in 1794. Two years later she married an officer with a better “head on his shoulders” who crowned himself in 1804 and she became Empress Josephine of France, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.
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