Rainfall and Rivers Georgetown, SC:  Storm surge flooding occurred in the historic downtown area. [44] The mayor of Charleston, Joseph P. Riley Jr., called Hugo "an extraordinarily dangerous event, [...] the likes of which few people who have lived all their lives in Charleston have experienced. To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have one-minute-average maximum sustained winds at 10 m above the surface of at least 74 mph (Category 1). Hugo's powerful wind was an unique event in weather history for this portion of inland North Carolina. Concern turned into fear and all I could think about was getting to work in one piece. [126] A nursing home in Boone, North Carolina, was evacuated following a flash flood. [39]:14A A Boeing 727 charter evacuated 135 vacationers from the city. We were in the process of procuring it, but not in time for this fateful storm. "[2] Severe beach erosion also occurred in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. [31], Saint Thomas experienced hurricane-force winds and sustained widespread damage to property and vegetation; damage was less severe than on Saint Croix due to Saint Thomas's position farther away from the core of Hugo. [93] Southeasterly winds were accelerated by the hills on the sides of Ensenada Honda. It was a National Guardsman with an M-16 machine gun. [54][67] A minimum air pressure of 941.1 mbar (hPa; 27.79 inHg) was recorded at Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport,[8][68] with a 97-mile-per-hour (156 km/h) wind gust documented in the last weather observation transmitted from Pointe-à-Pitre. A NOAA hurricane reconnaissance crew (NOAA 42) endured a near disastrous surveillance flight as they flew into the then Category 5 hurricane, Hurricane Hugo, at 1,500 ft (457.2 m). [107] There were 24 deaths in the aftermath of Hugo in South Carolina. This makes it the joint second most powerful Atlantic hurricane … Skip Navigation. Hugo attained hurricane strength on September 14th, then turned west-northwestward early on September 15th as it quickly strengthened into a rare category five hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 160 mph and a central pressure of 918 millibars (27.11 inches Hg). Residents have been reminded to keep storm kits ready, and to … Lee and Kershaw counties, SC:  High winds broke windows and downed many trees. [117] A conservative estimate valued the lost timber statewide at $1.04 billion. A NWS Eastern Region technical attachment (90-7A) with unique local data of Hugo's passage through Charleston. About 150 wooden beach access walkways were destroyed. The alert went out and we set up hour-long weather specials at WBTV in advance of the storm to warn people of the unusual circumstances. [66] Eleven people were killed in the Netherlands Antilles and caused $50 million in damage there. [88] Between 3–8 in (76–203 mm) of rain fell across a swath 150 mi (240 km) wide over South Carolina. The famous Atlantic House restaurant was destroyed. Trees were uprooted, houses were crushed, and lives were lost. [129], The juxtaposition of Hugo's extratropical remnants (a low-pressure system) over the eastern Great Lakes region and a strong high-pressure system off the U.S. East Coast generated a sharp contrast in pressure. Hurricanes need the continuous extraction of heat energy from a warm ocean surface to maintain their low pressure and strong winds. Local Hydro Information, Additional Information Video of Hurricane Hugo's impact in Myrtle Beach, SC taken from South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell Jr.'s helicopter as he tours the devastated coastline. Credit NOAA/AOML/Hurricane Research Division, From a 20 foot storm tide at the coast to hurricane force wind gusts observed 200 miles inland, Hugo dealt a severe impact to both South and North Carolina. Hugo's center passed over I-77 between Columbia and Charlotte early on Sept. 22, 1989 with wind gusts at Charlotte-Douglas measuring 63 mph, according to the NWS. So they, too, had to be "safe" in the hallway with us. The … The plane climbed to an altitude of 7,200 ft (2,200 m) before departing the eye via the northeast eyewall and returning to Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados. [8], Between September 15 and September 22, aircraft from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) penetrated the eye of Hugo 76 times, documenting the location of the storm's center roughly once every two hours. These surge-battered forests were devoid of insects and terrestrial vertebrates for six months, though their populations were well-below pre-storm levels. Natural Disaster Survey Report: Hurricane Hugo, September 10-22, 1989. That night, we all huddled in our small, brick house. [29] The devastation in both islands was nonetheless thorough and widespread. As I drove to work and saw the trees bending in the wind, I really felt vulnerable and thought I had waited too long to get to work. [68] Hourly rainfall rates averaged roughly 2 in (50 mm) per hour in the core of the hurricane. [101] Among the indirect fatalities were two people killed by house fires started by candles during the storm. Luckily, not one of them struck my house and we were spared any severe damage. I too thought this stuff only happened to ‘other’ people. It took me a long time to get home as I encountered numerous delays with trees, power lines, signs and debris in the road along with the detours. Residents of Puerto Rico's northeastern coast were encouraged to boil water to curtail the spread of food- and waterborne diseases, though power outages prevented most from doing so. I guess I’m no different than anyone else. [38]:4A A mobile home park in Loíza, one of the few in Puerto Rico, was wiped out by the storm surge and strong winds. Newspaper reports indicate every building on Isle of Palms and neighboring Sullivan's Island suffered at least some damage from Hugo. For me, that event was Hurricane Hugo in 1989. According a publication by the Carolina Bird Club at least 25 species of birds were carried inland by Hurricane Hugo, well away from the oceanic locations they typically inhabit. [76] The 180-foot (55 mm) stone jetty at Plymouth was destroyed by Hugo's 20-foot (6 m) waves. Estimates of the damage toll in this region vary but include over $50 million each for the British Virgin Islands and Netherlands Antilles, $2 billion for Puerto Rico, and $500 million for Saint Croix. A hurricane in the northern hemisphere will have cyclonic flow, meaning the wind is flowing towards the low pressure at the center of the storm in a counterclockwise fashion. [101] Every building on the two islands took damage from the hurricane. Some sources provide disparate fatality figures; A major hurricane is a storm that ranks as Category 3 or higher on the. Schools operated on a two-hour delay for roughly another week to give students without power at home extra time (and sunlight) to get ready for school. The 400-foot (120 m) tall WSOC-TV antenna collapsed onto the television station below. [28] The damage was heaviest towards the southern portions of the island as the center of Hugo passed 50 mi (80 km) south. Hurricane Hugo was one of the major hurricanes. York and Chesterfield counties, SC:  Over 1,500 homes were damaged or destroyed in Chesterfield county along with heavy losses to the turkey industry. As the unofficial "weatherman" for my school I was warning my classmates and teachers about what to expect from Hugo as early as Monday, September 18th. 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