Cameron, Louisiana

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{school, student, university}
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Cameron is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the parish seat of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 1,965 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area. After sustaining extreme damage from Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, the population in 2010 stood only at around 280.[2]

Contents

History

In 1957, Cameron was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Audrey. A storm surge of 12 feet (3.6 m) and 150 mile per hour (240 km/h) winds caused the death of more than 300 residents of the town.[3]

Nearly fifty years later, in late September 2005, Hurricane Rita hit the town. This time, however, virtually everyone evacuated, and only one man was reported killed in the town. He is said to have been sick and decided to stay in town for the storm. His body was found in Lake Charles, LA.[4]

On September 14, 2008, Hurricane Ike again leveled Cameron with a 22-foot (6.7 m) storm surge just as it was recovering from Rita in 2005. Ike destroyed over 90 percent of the homes in the parish seat and caused catastrophic flooding in every part of the entire parish. Damage due to storm surge and winds was far worse than what was seen with Hurricane Rita.[5] A 2010 report on the damage sustained from the effects of Rita and Ike states that few people returned to the town after the hurricanes, due to stricter building codes and high insurance costs that increased the cost of living dramatically. None of the stores have been rebuilt - only a gas station, bank, post office, and a restaurant remain (the latter two of which are still housed in trailers) and most of the residents still live in mobile homes. The First Baptist Church in the city wasn't rebuilt until 2010.[2]

Culture

Cameron is on the Creole Nature Trail, one of the National Scenic Byways.

Cameron is home to the Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival which is held in January. January 2008 will be the 51st Fur Festival. http://www.furfestival.com/

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