Last Island Hurricane

On August 10th, 1856, a Category 4 Hurricane made landfall at Last Island, Louisiana.

The Star (The Times-Picayune, August 1856)

The Star (The Times-Picayune, August 1856)

Located off the coast of Terrebonne Parish, this barrier island was once a popular resort for plantation owners in Louisiana.

Twice weekly, steamboats carried families back and forth from the mainland to the island.

Last Island Hotel Advertisement (The Times-Picayune, 1854)

Last Island Hotel Advertisement (The Times-Picayune, 1854)

Without the radar and satellite systems we have now, the vacationers had no idea of the danger they were to face, until it was too dangerous to evacuate.

Winds of 150 mph pounded Last Island. The storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico submerged the entire island under at least five feet of water.

The hurricane destroyed every building on the island.

Of the approximately 400 people on the island at the time of the storm, only about half survived. The island was never again inhabited.

Raccoon Island (Aero-Data Corporation, 2005)

Raccoon Island (Aero-Data Corporation, 2005)

Since 1856, the once contiguous Last Island has fragmented into an island chain now called Isles Dernieres (Cajun French for Last Islands).

The islands in the chain from west to east are Raccoon Island, Whiskey Island, Trinity Island, and East Island.

All of the color infrared images shown were taken after Hurricane Katrina in November of 2005.

Whiskey Island (Aero-Data, 2005)

Whiskey Island (Aero-Data, 2005)

Trinity Island (Aero-Data Corporation, 2005)

Trinity Island (Aero-Data Corporation, 2005)

East Island (Aero-Data Corporation, 2005)

East Island (Aero-Data Corporation, 2005)

 

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