The Chénière Storm

On Sunday, October, 1, 1893, the lower
coast was hit by a major hurricane, with
winds estimated at 100 mph and 16 foot
storm surges.  This was when hurricanes
were named for the places that they hit
rather than chosen names.  This storm
became known as the Chénière Hurricane
or simply L’Ouragan (The Hurricane).  Both
Grand Isle and Chénière Caminada were
devastated, with 1150 people killed on
Chénière Caminada and 18 on Grand Isle.  

from cover of Chénière Caminada: Buried at Sea by
Dale P. Rogers.

The Chénière Hurricane

The eye over Chénière is indicated by the circle of small arrows showing the counterclockwise direction of
the winds.  As it moved in a North East direction the winds first came from the South and East filling
Caminada Bay with cubic miles of water.  Then when the Northern and Western winds hit, the water rushed
(downhill) more devastatingly than before.  Chénière was far larger than it is today as indicated by the
shaded area.  Point
A indicated
where most of the large stores
were located. Today this section
is some four acres out into the Bay.  
B indicates how Grand Isle
had also extended into the
present Bay.  Conversations were
actually held between points A &
B.  The“jump” was a shallow,
narrow, marshy pass and could
be walked across in earlier days.  
What missing land areas did not
wash away during the 1893
Hurricane gradually sank over
the years or were washed away
by other storms during this

from Chénière Caminada: Buried at Sea
by Dale Rogers

The Chénière Caminada that remains is some fishing camps and the old cemetery,
but it has never been the same.  The survivors moved to other areas of Louisiana
to try to rebuild their lives.  The
bell from Catholic church at The Chénière has a
fascinating story of its own.  It now hangs at Our Lady of the Isle Chapel at Grand

Grand Isle didn’t suffer the
complete destruction that
Caminada did, but the
resorts were damaged
beyond repair.  Because of
the declining interest in
resorts and the financial
slump of 1893 the grand
resorts were never rebuilt.  

Ruins of Ocean Club Resort after L’Ouragan in

pictures from Reflechir: Vol.1. Les images des
prairies tremblantes: 1840-1940
by Chénière
Hurricane Centennial Committee

Ruins of Krantz Hotel after the hurricane

Damages to the Kranz Hotel 1893

pictures from Louisiana Barrier Island Erosion Study: chap. 2. A Historical and
Pictorial Review of Louisiana's Barrier Islands.

The Grand Isle steamer Joe Webre lay across the
tracks of the Kranz Hotel's streetcar line after the
1893 hurricane

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