In a short story, “Notes from the Flood” – which can be found in UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library – University of Virginia President Emeritus John T. Casteen III, a Ph.D. student and Nelson County resident at the time, recounted the horrific details of Hurricane Camille’s devastation of the rural Virginia county on the night of Aug. 19-20, 1969.
Today, Casteen hesitates to talk publicly about the disaster that took so many lives. The pain is still there.
“The extent of damage in Nelson County is hard to imagine after a half-century,” the former English professor wrote in an email. “Yet in the very worst of times, Nelson’s people and public officials came together to rebuild, and they found allies and backers in government and in churches and in volunteer organizations.”