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Blakeview: Hurricane Betsy 

The recent 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Betsy reminded us of another upcoming anniversary: the centennial of the devastating Category 4 hurricane in 1915 (in the days before the National Weather Service named storms). The storm made landfall on Sept. 29, 1915 near Grand Isle. Coastal areas experienced severe wind, flooding and storm surge damage, but the city also felt the effects. According to the New Orleans Public Library, more than 25,000 New Orleans buildings suffered structural damage in that storm. High winds caused two churches to collapse: the First Presybterian Church of New Orleans on Lafayette Square and St. Anna's Episcopal Church on Esplanade Avenue. It also blew the cupola off the Presbytere in Jackson Square. In all, the storm killed about 275 people as it moved inland and caused $13 million in damages, making it the most destructive hurricane until Betsy hit 50 years later.


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