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Hurricane Audrey

From Academic Kids

Radar image of Hurricane Audrey as seen from
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Radar image of Hurricane Audrey as seen from Beaumont, Texas

Hurricane Audrey was a powerful hurricane that devastated coastal Louisiana in the USA during the 1957 Atlantic hurricane season.

Audrey formed over the Bay of Campeche on June 24, and slowly moved north across the Gulf of Mexico. It rapidly strengthened just before making landfall near Sabine Pass, Texas on June 27 as a Category 4 hurricane. It continued north and became a powerful extratropical storm.

Audrey's 12-foot (3.7 m) storm surge devastated Cameron, Louisiana, causing $150 million in damage. Officially, Audrey was responsible for 390 deaths, although unofficial sources claim the number is over 500. Audrey is ranked as the sixth deadliest hurricane to hit the United States mainland since accurate record-keeping began in 1900. No storm to hit the US since has caused as many fatalities.

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Hurricane_Audrey_radar_LCH.jpg
Radar image of Hurricane Audrey as seen from Lake Charles, Louisiana

Hurricane Audrey was one of the first hurricanes to be observed by weather radar. However, due to Audrey's rapid motion and the limited communications infrastructure in Cameron Parish, this additional data was not effective in preventing loss of life.

Some blamed inadequate warnings issued by the Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service) for the large number of fatalities. In Bartie v. U.S., Cameron resident Whitney Bartie sued the Weather Bureau for negligence, blaming the deaths of his wife and five children on insufficient warnings from the Bureau. The court ruled for the Bureau, citing expert testimony that the warnings issued "were as accurate as could be expected at that time", as well as numerous legalities. The ruling was upheld on appeal, and numerous other similar cases were withdrawn.

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