Hurricane Audrey strengthened rapidly just before landfall on the Gulf Coast near the remote fishing village of Cameron LA on the Texas/Louisiana border during the early morning hours of June 27, 1957.
Many residents went to bed the night before thinking that they had time to evacuate the next morning, but were caught by surprise by the faster moving and stronger than anticipated storm.
The storm’s central pressure dropped from 973 to 945 millibars (and perhaps even lower) in just five hours. Winds reached 150 mph. The rapid intensification generated a storm surge of at least 12 feet above normal which was not anticipated.
390 people died in Louisiana (127 of them unidentified) with another 192 were reported missing. The loss of life was the greatest in the United States since the 1938 Hurricane in New England.