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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 three deadly hurricanes during the 1893 Atlantic hurricane season; the storm killed an estimated 2,000 people,[1][2] mostly from storm surge.

1893 Chenière Caminada hurricane
Category 4 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
1893 cheniere caminada hurricane damaged house.jpg
The hurricane wiped the community of Cheniere Caminada off the map, leaving a single, damaged home. Some survivors retreated to what is now Golden Meadow, and others migrated farther inland.
FormedSeptember 27, 1893 (1893-09-27)
DissipatedOctober 5, 1893 (1893-10-06)
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 130 mph (215 km/h)
Lowest pressure948 mbar (hPa); 27.99 inHg
Damage$5 million (1893 USD)
Areas affectedYucatán Peninsula, Louisiana, Mississippi
Part of the 1893 Atlantic hurricane season


Meteorological historyEdit

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

The hurricane was first observed on September 27, 1893, in the northwest Caribbean Sea. Its previous history is unknown; possibly it formed from a trough of low pressure in the area, a similar method of formation for two other storms this season. The storm moved to the northwest, quickly strengthening into a hurricane on September 28. It continued to intensify to 95 mph winds before hitting near Cancún of the Yucatán Peninsula on the 29th.

While crossing the peninsula, the hurricane weakened to 90 mph, but restrengthened over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A low pressure trough over the northern Gulf of Mexico brought the hurricane northward and northeastward. On October 1, this compact hurricane became a major hurricane, and early the next day, it became a Category 4 as it approached the Louisiana coast.

On the morning of October 2, with a peak of 135 mph winds, the hurricane struck southeast Louisiana near Cheniere Caminada, on the Louisiana mainland just west of Grand Isle. The hurricane continued to the northeast, and weakened while crossing southeast Louisiana. After crossing the northern Gulf of Mexico for a few hours, the hurricane hit on the night of the 2nd, this time in southeast Mississippi. The storm continued to the northeast, weakening to a tropical storm over Alabama, and moved into the Atlantic Ocean on the 4th. The storm dissipated on the 5th.


Ruins of a home in Cheniere Caminada pictured in 2006

As a strengthening hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, the Chenière Caminada Hurricane brought a strong storm surge that flooded much of southeast Louisiana. 779 people died out of the town's 1500 residents from the high winds and flooding from the storm surge. The surge was up to 16 feet, with heavy surf above it. The hurricane caused about 2000 fatalities in total, making it among the deadliest United States hurricanes.

The Gulf States were greatly affected by the hurricane. The orange and rice crop were greatly damaged, and combined with destruction of the wind, the hurricane caused about $5 million in damage (1893 USD, $102.6 million in 2005 USD).

Many vessels known and unknown were sunk in the hurricane throughout coastal Louisiana and Mississippi including[3]

Name confusionEdit

Named after a Spanish sugar planter, Francisco Caminada,[4] various sources give the name of the village as Caminadaville, Chenier Caminada, Cheniere Caminada, or Chenier Caminanda. The island and village were nearly destroyed.

Today the town of Cheniere Caminada is located in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Blake, Eric S; Landsea, Christopher W; Gibney, Ethan J; National Climatic Data Center; National Hurricane Center (August 10, 2011). The deadliest, costliest and most intense United States tropical cyclones from 1851 to 2010 (and other frequently requested hurricane facts) (PDF) (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS NHC-6). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. p. 47. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Christine Gibson Archived 2010-12-05 at the Wayback Machine "Our 10 Greatest Natural Disasters," American Heritage, Aug./Sept. 2006.
  3. ^ Falls, Rose C. (1893). Cheniere Caminada or The Wind Of Death: The Story Of The Storm In Louisiana. New Orleans: Hopkins' Printing Office. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  4. ^ Chase, John. "Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children: . . . and Other Streets of New Orleans!", Pelican Publishing, October 31, 2001. p195.

Further readingEdit

  • Davis, Donald W. (1993). "Cheniere Caminada and the Hurricane of 1893". In Magoon, Orville T.; Wilson, W. Stanley (eds.). Coastal Zone ’93: Proceedings of the Eighth Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Management, July 19-23, 1993 New Orleans, Louisiana. New York: ASCE. pp. 2256–2269. ISBN 0-87262-918-X.
  • Falls, Rose C. (1893). Cheniere Caminada or The Wind Of Death: The Story Of The Storm In Louisiana. New Orleans: Hopkins' Printing Office. Retrieved 2009-07-15. NOTE: The title is incorrectly indexed in Google Books

External linksEdit