SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – September 22nd was a beautiful day this year. 29 years ago, it couldn’t have been more different.
Hurricane Hugo started as a tropical wave off the coast of Africa and made its way across the Atlantic, making landfall around Sullivan’s Island as a category 4 hurricane at midnight on September 22nd of 1989.
In Charleston County, wind gusts were measured at over 100 miles per hour. Due to its size and speed, those winds were able to reach far inland.
In Bull’s Bay just north of Mount Pleasant, the storm surge reached about 20 feet.
Houses were destroyed, trees uprooted, and power knocked out for weeks.
Those who stayed in the tri-county say it was a very surreal and sometimes strange experience.
“It took over an hour of sitting and then we got onto Folly Road. There were trees down all over the road, you had to keep detouring through neighborhoods. There were downed power lines snapping and cracking and popping all over the place. I lived on Camp Road at that time. Nothing looked the same as when we left five days earlier. There were houses gone, buildings gone, trees through buildings, uprooted. I know Camp Road looked dark, it looked like we were in a deep forest because the trees were piled so high, on top of each other,” said Candice Galus Brown, a former James Island resident.
When all was said and done, Hugo killed dozens and caused over $7 billion in damage.