CHARLOTTE, N.C. — September 22, 2019, marks the 30th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo making landfall just north of Charleston, South Carolina. The airport in San Juan registered wind gusts up to 92 mph, with 120 mph gusts measured at the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. Pawley’s Island, S.C.: Hugo’s surge cut the island in two, carving out a new inlet described in two different news sources as 20 feet or 100 feet wide. “God blessed me with education, training and experience and then put an opportunity in my path,” said Nelson. During the storm, the bridge slid into the AIWW like a seesaw, with the lower end in the water and the other 110 feet up in the air. Hurricane HUGO 30 Years Later: A Retrospective — and How to Prepare for the Next Big One. Hugo swept through Charlotte like a thief in the night. Countless trees crashed into homes and fell across power lines, creating widespread and long-lasting power outages. “I reached out and started pulling that one million pound bridge,” said Nelson. After Hurricane Hugo passed through the Charleston area in 1989, residents woke up to see the Ben Sawyer Bridge tipped off its axis into the AIWW. Hugo still holds the record for the highest storm surge ever observed on the east coast of the U.S. Wing gusts reached 140 mph. Wind gusts reached 110 mph. Hurricane Hugo slammed into Jamie's hometown of Charlotte, NC when he was just a youngster. All rights reserved. It reached Charlotte about five hours later, and what it left behind cannot be denied. The span began moving closer and closer to the center pin where it was supposed to sit and then it stopped, 12 inches short. York and Chesterfield counties, S.C.: Over 1,500 homes were damaged or destroyed in Chesterfield county along with heavy losses to the turkey industry. Hurricane Hugo. Roads were impassible due to the volume of debris. Hurricane Hugo 30th anniversary: Remembering the storm all others are compared to In the fall of 1989, Hurricane Hugo set its sights on the Carolinas. Read the story of how it happened. According to the Hurricane Severity Index, Hugo was the third-worst storm in modern history after making landfall as a Category 4 monster hurricane, with wind speeds well over 140 mph. Sumter County, S.C.: One fatality occurred in a mobile home, with nearly a thousand homes damaged and over 200 destroyed. For website corrections, write to cesac-pao@sac.usace.army.mil, About the Charleston District Website Website. MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Sept. 22 marks 30 years since Hurricane Hugo blasted the Carolinas. Working at night on a high tide, the barges used their crane to begin lifting the sunken end. 30 years ago this weekend. Remembering Hurricane Hugo 30 years later FILE - This Sept. 23, 1989 file photo shows a damaged home is shown on Holden Beach, N.C., Sept. 23, 1989 after Hurricane Hugo struck the coast of … Wind gusts reached hurricane-force and blew down millions of trees from Gastonia and Lincolnton through Hickory and the remainder of the North Carolina foothills. Hugo originated from a cluster of storms that moved off the African coast on Sept. 9, 1989. The S.C. governor had to officially request the Corps’ help, but he provided a warning- “If you drop that bridge in the water, it’s yours.” Nelson immediately began working on sketches and trying to find a crane big enough to lift that much weight. The official public website of the Charleston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Hurricane Hugo 30 years later. … One fatality was reported in York county. From that day forward, he knew he would be dedicated to forecasting storms. Mt. At least 14 homes were destroyed, and three homes were carried off by surging water and dropped in the tidal creek behind the island. Newspaper reports said Ocean Boulevard was covered by sand and several feet of water in the North Myrtle Beach area. The Wild Dunes golf course was damaged by erosion, and a large section of the Ben Sawyer Bridge over to Sullivan’s Island was damaged. The tugs pushed the barges around. Plus, in 1989, it was the only connection to the barrier islands north of Charleston Harbor. WBTV’s Steve Crump says the storm was unlike anything he’s ever been through. Hurricane Hugo and The Citadel – 30 years later September 21, 2019 September 20, 2019 Alumni Campus Life Featured. Mayor Carmen Bunch and SC Governor Carroll Campbell placed the island under martial law. Numerous homes were damaged and destroyed by falling trees. Surfside Beach, S.C.: On Ocean Boulevard sand and mud was 10 inches deep after the storm with tree and building debris littering the streets. A more detailed county by county look at Hurricane Hugo Then and Now is also available. Bulls Bay just north of Mt. Mt. Wind gusts reached 130 mph. A USDA Forest Service report issued on October 5, 1989 estimated 700 to 1000 million board feet of timber was lost, but up to 250 million board feet was hoped to be salvaged over the coming years. Hugo became better organized as it crossed the Gulf Stream between the Bahamas and S.C. PHOTO DETAILS / DOWNLOAD HI-RES 1 of 2. September 13, 2019 . Mary Teston was a volunteer living in Charleston and worked with the teams that did damage assessment after the storm. fearful night. Part 7. September 20, 2019 at 9:59 AM EDT - Updated September 22 at 8:13 AM, FIRST ALERT: Cooler weekend ahead, heavy rain arrives soon, FIRST ALERT: Unseasonably warm Thanksgiving, more rain chances arrive. Florence County, S.C.: Roofs were destroyed in downtown Florence, with damage reported to hotels and apartment buildings around the county. Berkeley and Dorchester counties, S.C.: Eight fatalities attributed to Hugo occurred in Berkeley County, with a tremendous number of homes destroyed and 17,000 residents homeless after the storm. Orangeburg and Clarendon counties, S.C.: Large-scale damage occurred to agricultural interests. Downtown skyscrapers in Charlotte had large windows blown out by winds, raining debris into the streets below. A Gray Media Group, Inc. Station - © 2002-2020 Gray Television, Inc. Big changes arrive soon including heavy rain and much cooler temperatures. Mark Nelson and the Charleston District were there to help solve the problem and had the bridge up in just a couple of weeks. Shortly after midnight, just two weeks after Hugo knocked it down, the bridge was back in place for traffic. The surge was estimated at 13 feet above sea level, with evidence of damage from seawater flooding as far as 1,500 feet inland. Springmaid Pier was reduced to only 150 feet in length with two other piers in Myrtle Beach destroyed by the combination of storm surge and large crashing waves. Charlotte, N.C.: This city was forever changed by Hugo, which was still packing hurricane-force wind gusts nearly 200 miles from the ocean. Hurricane Hugo 30 years later. Multiple fishing boats were sunk in Shem Creek. Mark Nelson, former Charleston District chief of design, volunteered to assist the South Carolina Department of Transportation to get the damaged, one million pound bridge back in use for traffic so friends and family could go home. Lee and Kershaw counties, S.C.: High winds broke windows and downed many trees. Georgetown, S.C.: Severe storm surge flooding occurred in the historic downtown area. Share 642. The following reports were gathered from the National Weather Service following Hugo. Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island, S.C.: An 11 foot storm surge destroyed the Isle of Palms fishing pier and many of the beachfront homes. It was one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history that fueled the fire in Meteorologist Jamie Arnold. The Surfside Fishing pier was destroyed. Francis Marion National Forest, S.C.: Approximately three-quarters of the trees in the 250,000 acre national forest were blown down, many sheared off at a height of 10 to 25 feet above ground. This time they added a manual crank winch to the equation and it worked.

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