The categories are measured by wind speed and indicate the possible damage the storm can cause. A category 5 hurricane has winds exceeding 155 mph.
In 1969, Camille pounded the Mississippi Gulf coast with 20-foot storm surges. A storm surge is a wall of water ranging between 50-100 miles wide that sweeps across the coast close to where a hurricane makes landfall. The surge, topped by waves, can flood coastal areas for miles inland. In the case of Camilla, the hurricane left devastating flood damage, and killed 256 people.
The people of Texas were at the mercy of Hurricane Carla in 1961. This category 4 hurricane sent people fleeing from their ravaged homes, barely escaping with their lives. Forty-six people died, and over $400 million worth of damage resulted from the storm.
The most deadly hurricane of all came at the turn of the century when a category 4 storm pummeled Galveston, Tex., in 1900. The town was reduced to little more than splinters, and 8,000 people died.
Reported By Craig Allen