Hurricane Carmen was the third named
storm of the 1974
Atlantic hurricane season. It was also the strongest and most intense
of the season. She had maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (241 km/h),
putting her at Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson
hurricane scale. It was a storm from August 29 to September 10, 1974.
Hurricane Carmen formed a few hundred miles east of the Lesser
Antilles. It strengthened considerably becoming a tropical storm passing
just south of Hispaniola and Jamaica as a category one hurricane. The
storm strengthened quickly making landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula as a
category two hurricane on September 2, down from a category four just 150
miles east of the coast. Just as quickly as the storm strengthened it
weakened back to a Tropical Storm.
Carmen once again fed off of the 85 degree September waters of the Gulf
of Mexico and strengthened right back to category four just before making
landfall in Morgan City, Louisiana on September 8 as a category one
hurricane. It deteriorated further dissipating over East Texas on
Carmen claimed only four lives. Only one person was killed in the
United States. United States damage is estimated at $150 million. The name
Carmen was retired following this storm.
Click for a larger version; courtesy of NOAA.
Carmen in the Movies
Hurricane Carmen was also mentioned in the movie Forrest
Gump. Forrest's shrimp boat was the only one to survive the full
fury of the storm.