Hurricane Camille

The Tye River in Nelson County, Virginia saw a rapid uprising in its water level in August of 1969. Camille’s rains were estimated to be between twenty-five and thirty-five inches. The Tye River rose high above its banks and engulfed the entire communities of Massie’s Mill, Tyro, Lovingston and over the mountain to the Rockfish Valley. The river’s force destroyed bridges, swept away homes and dislodged trees and other debris and carried it for miles(Pollard). Many lives were lost that day and those who survived often recount the events of the day at an annual memorial service held in Massie’s Mill. The flood that occurred could be compared to no other in history.

After the rains retreated the community began reestablishing itself. Houses went up within a day and buildings saw life again (Pollard). The Tye River was left with no path to follow. In order to give the river a course to run, the Army Corps of Engineers implemented a channelization project, quickly dredging straight stream beds. The effects of this project will later be discussed with regard to erosion.