Home » History - American » Today In Charleston History: September 21 – Hurricane Hugo

Today In Charleston History: September 21 – Hurricane Hugo

1989

Hurricane Hugo was a Category 4 hurricane at landfall which brought strong winds to many areas of South Carolina. Extensive property damage was reported in several counties, especially in the Lowcountry and the Grand Strand. More than 227,800 residences experienced power outages. In the Francis Marion National Forest, about 8,800 square miles of trees were downed, enough timber to build 660,000 homes.Total losses in the Lowcountry reached $1 billion.

1989hugo0422The storm surge and rough tides caused extensive damage in Charleston County. The highest storm surge observation was 20.2 feet (6.2 m) at Seewee Bay near McClellanville. Prior to the storm, residents of McClellanville took shelter in the cafeteria at Lincoln High School. However, storm surge flooded the room, with some people climbing up to the rafters for safety. A portion of the Ben Sawyer Bridge – linking Mount Pleasant to Sullivan’s Island – collapsed due to strong winds and storm surge. On Sullivan’s Island, water destroyed two or three rows of beach houses in some areas. At Isle of Palms, boats harbored at the marina were washed ashore and piled into a large heap. Losses at Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms reached nearly $270 million.

  • Total fatalities: 61
  • Highest winds: 162 mph
  • Lowest pressure: 918 mb

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