Cheniere Caminada Hurricane of 1893

Originating near the Yucatan Peninsula, a compact and fast-moving hurricane rode a low pressure trough across the river and bayou plains of extreme Southeastern Louisiana at such an angle that the wall of Gulf waters it drove traversed the peninsula of Cheniere Caminada three times. Before exiting the continent from North Carolina some ten days later, it had killed nearly 2000 persons, the vast majority from coastal Southeastern Louisiana. On Cheniere Caminada alone, it killed nearly 900, including half the women and nearly all the children.

The Great October Storm remains the second largest natural disaster in U.S. history.

The Chenière Caminada Hurricane, also known as the Great October Storm, was a powerful hurricane that devastated the island of Chenière Caminada, Louisiana in early October 1893. It was one of two deadly hurricanes during the 1893 Atlantic hurricane season; the storm killed an estimated 2,000 people, mostly from storm surge.

The population of Cheniere Caminada island is 1471. Of these 696 only are now living; 779 are dead. Historic Cheniere Caminada is no more. The first effects of the storm were felt between 4 and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Everyone apprehended that something terrible was about to happen. … There was one avenue of safety, and that was to seek the upper stories of the houses, but even that chance for escape was lost when the wind and waves combined shook the frail habitations, which rocked to and fro and creaked and groaned under the repeated attacks of the furious elements. Soon the houses were being demolished, wrecked and carried away. The wind shifted to the southeast, and for hours shrieked with redoubled fury. Above the thundering voice of the hurricane could be heard the despairing cries, the groans and the frantic appeals for help of the unfortunate victims.