Date: August 1969
Significance:$1.4 billion in damages nationwide
Holmes says: Hurricane Camille made landfall in the Gulf, but Virginia was hit hardest. As Camille moved from the Gulf inland over the Appalachians, she unleashed a series of flash floods before entering the Atlantic on August 20. In Virginia alone, the storms swept away more than 100 bridges and left only one highway intact. The James River in central Virginia, as the meeting point of several tributaries, experienced severe flooding that devastated the nearby community of Richmond. Camille changed the way people thought about a hurricane's potential to affect inland communities and led to the passage of the Disaster Relief Act of 1969.