Out of the Gulf of Mexico on the morning of June 27 roared the first hurricane of the season, striking with winds up to 110 miles an hour and causing a 10 foot tidal wave to sweep inland. As rescue workers brought out survivors, a dramatic story emerged of the part played by the parish courthouse there. Originally built in 1937, this building was designed of reinforced concrete especially to provide the town with a place of refuge during hurricanes. Between 600 to a 1,000 people escaped death by taking shelter there. The remarkable way in which the courthouse withstood both wind and water is striking proof of the importance of storm resistant design in areas exposed to hurricanes or tornadoes. When construction of the building was planned, careful consideration was given to making it resistant to fire, hurricanes, and tidal waves. Wide footings for the courthouse were extended down throughout sand and shell to hard clay. The reinforced concrete walls were 12 inches thick, buttressed by battered pylons and braced by concrete floors and roof. The resulting building was permanent and strong and hundreds of people are alive today as a direct result.