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. [56] The San Juan Star estimated losses in the territory amounted to $2 billion while Storm Data, a monthly publication from the National Centers for Environmental Information, estimated that damage reached $1 billion; property damage accounted for $900 million while crop damage accounted for $100 million. [e][11] Hugo's forward motion was beginning to accelerate northward at the time of its South Carolina landfall in response to an extratropical cyclone moving across the central U.S., and this curvature and acceleration continued as Hugo moved farther inland. What was I thinking? [99] Fallen power lines and damage to over 120 homes marooned the mayor of Arroyo and several others;[39]:14A the municipality had been struck by waves 35 ft (11 m) high. Some sources provide disparate fatality figures; A major hurricane is a storm that ranks as Category 3 or higher on the. [103] The Ben Sawyer Bridge connecting the South Carolina mainland to Sullivan's Island was heavily damaged and became stuck in an open position. [145]:A6 Dubbed Operation Hawkeye, the operation involved elements of the Army, Navy and the Coast Guard, along with a contingent from the U.S. North Carolina Western Piedmont and Foothills:  Hugo finally weakened below hurricane strength as it accelerated northward between Hickory and Morganton during the morning of September 22, 1989. Hurricane Hugo in the Charleston Area by John F. Townsend, NWS Charleston, SC. [8] Hurricane-force winds lasted for an unusually long time, battering the island from the late evening of September 17 to the morning of September 18. Several tourist hotels there sustained heavy damage. Myrtle Beach Air Force Base sustained $2 million in damage from buildings and equipment. My father had dropped by after his overnight shift at The State Newspaper to check on us. The destruction of habitats forced the relocation of some avian species such as the pearly-eyed thrasher (Margarops fuscatus) and northern waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis). The hurricane's trajectory swept across three major South Carolina cities. So from that standpoint I was able to talk somewhat intelligently about the impending weather. [8][11] The next day, it transitioned into an extratropical storm near Erie, Pennsylvania, and continued across eastern Canada, eventually moving into the far reaches of the northern Atlantic where they were last noted on September 25. The 400-foot (120 m) tall WSOC-TV antenna collapsed onto the television station below. The pier had recently been renovated and had been open only for five weeks before Hugo. National Radar, Past Weather and Hydrology CBS's news program 48 Hours even devoted an entire show to Hugo which featured veteran reporter Bernard Goldberg visiting the National Hurricane Center and interviewing director Bob Sheets. Standing by my bedroom window for the next two hours I watched wind gusts exceed 40 mph, then 50 mph, then 60 mph. Satellite Up to a quarter of York County's cotton crop was lost, with additional losses suffered by peach, sorghum, and soybean crops. 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. After four years in Louisiana, I returned to the east coast in the fall of 1988 to start my tenure at WBTV. Civil defense officials aided preparations in Puerto Plata and evacuated a beach there. NWS Product Guide I remember standing in the mouth of our large garage at the peak of the storm looking across the parking lot at the horizontal rain and large chunks of debris flying through the air. [69] A ship in the wharf at Pointe-à-Pitre reported a gust of 184 mph (296 km/h). Hugo crossed Puerto Rico on Monday, and forecasts for an impact in the Carolinas became more emphatic as the week progressed. A smaller exodus occurred at Saint Thomas and Saint John. Even after the storm, recovery was difficult. She left early on the 21st and arrived by the afternoon, picking up my middle sister and I from school. That's the largest jump in wind speed in October since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, the last major hurricane to strike Cancun. All tropical cyclone watches and warnings were discontinued by 16:00 UTC on September 22. [46]:A7 Three shelters were opened in North Carolina, though emergency management did not anticipate ordering evacuations. Residents have been reminded to keep storm kits ready, and to … Winds in Montreal gusted up to 59 mph (95 km/h), leaving 13,400 homes without electricity. Oh wait… that wasn’t lightning… it was transformers blowing up! [41] After Hugo departed the Caribbean, officials in South Florida convened on September 18 to discuss emergency preparedness plans, and some residents began to gather supplies. Vickie was fine, we lived in a new subdivision - you know, the kind where they mow down all the trees before building the first house? The problem was, we still had no meteorological equipment in the station that would help me analyze weather in any meaningful way. At the time, Hugo was the easternmost Category 5 on record in the Atlantic. Image taken from a video provided by WPDE TV. The city's pier was destroyed, and roads three blocks inland were covered with sand. Hugo's destruction wasn't limited to just South Carolina; Hugo also devastated the Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe, St. Croix, and Puerto Rico, and even seven hours after its final landfall still produced hurricane-force winds across the western Piedmont and foothills of North Car… A publication of NC's Agricultural Extension Service with several pages on the storm's impacts across North Carolina. [31] Between 300–500 prisoners were freed from prison in Saint Croix after the storm, either by escaping or by release due to food and water shortages in the prison. Mike McKay was our evening news weathercaster while I was the morning meteorologist. [106] All coastal state parks with the exception of Hunting Island and Edisto Beach sustained significant damage. [52] The control tower, associated weather instrumentation, and aircraft at the airport were badly damaged. Hurricane Hugo Old Footage from 1989 after the storm. I guess I’m no different than anyone else. Please try another search. Additional relief teams from the OFDA, Pan American Health Organization, Red Cross, and United Nations Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator were pre-positioned in Antigua to survey the damage and prioritize aid in Hugo's aftermath. [51] Partial damage was documented on 1,500 homes and total loss was documented on 106. But somehow I made it. Sure enough, Hugo came ashore on midnight 22 September 1989 just north of Charleston, SC and accelerated inland at 35 mph. Unofficial reports alleged that Saint Croix experienced gusts in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h), but these were inconsistent with the severity of damage or were otherwise unsubstantiated. [102] Downed trees and wind-blown debris severed power lines, cutting power for most areas. Without Hugo, I might still be swimming. We ended up firing up a small portable generator which from my understanding may have produced a signal several miles in diameter, but it didn’t matter. When Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina, it was a category four. [21]:3[52] The total cost of damage reached nearly EC$200 million. [32] Approximately half of Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe's largest city, was destroyed. Daily Temp and Precip Summary Home video of Hugo's impact in Florence, SC. [52] The hurricane also caused widespread power outages in the Dominican Republic while tracking northwest towards the continental United States. Sorry, the location you searched for was not found. Tropical Passage over the high terrain of Puerto Rico weakened Hugo significantly; the central pressure rose from 940 millibars at landfall to 966 millibars during the afternoon of September 19th and maximum sustained winds fell to 90 knots (105 mph). Extensive flooding occurred on Antigua, and power outages befell the island after utility poles were uprooted by the storm. Then I landed my second television job in north Louisiana, at KNOE in Monroe between 1984 and 1988. Figure 1. [31] Debris in the forest blocked Puerto Rico Highway 191 and strong winds unroofed the local headquarters of the United States Forest Service. A NWS Eastern Region technical attachment (90-7A) with unique local data of Hugo's passage through Charleston. And downed trees littered the neighborhood. [29] Rough surf damaged the city pier, tearing away parts of its concrete decking. "[33][25] Three thousand people evacuated from southeastern Puerto Rico and five thousand evacuated from San Juan neighborhoods. Hugo kept rolling, however, racing to the northwest at 25 mph with tropical storm-force winds. The fascinating story of how Hugo nearly killed the crew of a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft sent to investigate the storm is available at this link. [117] A conservative estimate valued the lost timber statewide at $1.04 billion. [15][16] It had been deployed to Barbados alongside another WP-3D Orion as part of a research experiment coordinated by the Hurricane Research Division. A destroyed communications antenna in El Yunque National Forest cut off communication to Vieques and Culebra. [122][83] Wind damage in Mecklenburg County amounted to over $500 million. Hugo came at night and once it started blowing pretty hard, we lost power. [70] However, the storm's trajectory relative to Guadeloupe prevented a more damaging surge event from occurring. Both the Georgetown Landing and Belle Isle marinas were destroyed. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Surge height was estimated at 13 feet above sea level. The American Red Cross enumerated 70 fatalities in the Carolinas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands both directly and indirectly caused by Hugo. A sailboat that had been anchored in the Sampit River ended up stranded next to the Georgetown Rice Museum. The outdoor grills were going strong and I must say, it created a real sense of community among our neighbors as we were all coming together to share food and check on each other’s needs. Over 10 inches of rain was recorded at Edisto Island, SC with rather large totals southward through coastal Georgia. [90], Two people drowned in Puerto Rico during Hugo's passage according to reports from the National Research Council and NHC. Mayor Carmen Bunch and SC Governor Carroll Campbell placed the island under martial law. Concurrent watches and warnings for tropical storm conditions were in effect for Saint Vincent and Barbados. [c] Lesser effects were felt along the periphery of the hurricane's path in the Lesser Antilles and across the Eastern United States into Eastern Canada. An anemometer on the ship Night Cap in the harbor at Culebra measured a wind gust of 148 knots (170 mph). [8] Rainfall on the Caribbean islands averaged between 5–10 in (125–250 mm). Wind speed tends to decrease significantly within 12 hours after landfall (for more detail see Interaction between a Hurricane and Land). top right bottom left center. Based on the timing of the storm, there was no compelling reason to change our shifts, so Mike worked the 11pm news and handed it off to me. It was a National Guardsman with an M-16 machine gun. One person was killed by the rise of the Cooper River at Mount Pleasant. [121] Windows were blown out of skyscrapers in Downtown Charlotte. We even had experts on the programs such as Bob Sheets, the Director of the National Hurricane Center. [103] Homes were primarily rebuilt and repaired by non-profit and ad-hoc groups. [4] Federal resources for the aftermath in South Carolina were strained by earlier relief efforts for Hugo's impact in the Caribbean; they would be strained further by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in October. [26] Some of these shelters took heavy damage during Hugo, and one required evacuation by civil defense authorities after its windows gave way to the wind. Hurricanes are rated by wind speed on a scale of 1 (74 to 95 mph) to 5 (greater than 155 mph). The course? Numerous trees in Charlotte were also blown down atop homes and power lines, triggering long-lasting power outages that affected 85 percent of Charlotte homes and businesses. [126] A nursing home in Boone, North Carolina, was evacuated following a flash flood. [28] Power and water distillation facilities operated by the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority west of the city were disabled by the storm. In newspaper reports published on September 23, 1989, Horry County administrator M. L. Love said "Garden City for all practical purposes is gone." Wind today, live map and prediction radar. Lee and Kershaw counties, SC:  High winds broke windows and downed many trees. I mention that our house was brick because you typically think of your house being a sturdy, immoveable place. [123] Losses to crops and livestock amounted to nearly $97 million. The western periphery of this high extended to just off the Mid-Atlantic and New England coastline. wind speed at landfall: 100 mph ... Hurricane Hugo (September, 1989) > Minimum pressure millibars: 934 > Max. Hugo weakened to a category 4 hurricane on September 16th as it aimed at the Leeward Islands of Guadeloupe and Montserrat. Hugo gained intensity while crossing the Atlantic, and by September 13 it had reached full hurricane status, with a wind speed in excess of 64 knots (74 mph). Weather History Calendar [27] The loss of water caused two hospitals to refuse patient admission on September 20. 23. By 11:00am, the sun was out, we were still off the air, and there was little more I could do. [101] Hugo's storm surge wrecked the barrier islands, thoroughly razing many structures. Yes I still have it, and squirm every time I see myself standing there in my short-short tennis shorts and tube socks. Despite not hearing thunder I was amazed by the frequent flashes of blue lightning occurring low in the sky in all directions. In the entire Hurricane Hugo impact area not a single anemometer was at standard height; the readings from [63] Hugo ruined 80 percent of the island's banana crop and interrupted water supplies. These initial alerts were discontinued following the storm's passage by September 18. (1997). Observations Map Sorry, this is a written account of my experience, video not included. Hurricane Hugo: Storm of the Century. By the morning of September 10th the system displayed enough organization on satellite imagery that it was classified as a tropical depression, the eleventh one of the 1989 Hurricane Season. [21]:4 The island's power grid was left entirely dysfunctional following the storm across both high and low voltage distribution networks. [31] More than 2,000 troops from the United States National Guard were mobilized in Puerto Rico;[32] in San Juan, National Guardsmen and volunteers drove around the city issuing emergency instructions over loudspeakers. Hugo was not a tricky storm to forecast. Office Newsletter So I had plenty of time to actually experience the storm. Road +-prev next. Beach erosion also occurred along Martinique beaches. [153]:2 In addition to those offered housing grants, 243 families were moved to FEMA mobile homes beginning a week after Hugo until April 1990. While I was still amped up, I had Vickie grab the camcorder and we went out and taped a news-reporter-like story on the damage around our neighborhood. [8][84] Generally 6–9 in (150–230 mm) of rain fell across the Virgin Islands, peaking at 11.2 in (280 mm) at Hams Bluff Light in northwestern Saint Croix. My wife got a mattress and took all the children into the interior hallway in hopes that we would have a better chance of survival there. [83][86] Two hundred landslides occurred in Puerto Rico, with the largest of these transporting 40,000 m3 (1,400,000 cu ft) of debris into a river. Science and Technology, Office Programs At least 14 homes were destroyed, and three homes were carried off by surging water and dropped in the tidal creek behind the island. [137] Two days after Hugo's passage, an Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma rescue helicopter crashed in La Désirade, killing nine people. Mayor Johnny Vereen was quoted in the Wilmington Star-News saying "We have lost 60 percent of our dune area. Hugo: How It Changed South Carolina. Le cas du cyclone Hugo en Guadeloupe", "Physical Aspects of Hurricane Hugo in Puerto Rico", Photo gallery of Hurricane Hugo's impacts in South Carolina, Helicopter footage of damage in Pawleys' Island, South Carolina, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hurricane_Hugo&oldid=993824981, Hurricanes in the United States Virgin Islands, Natural disasters in the United States Virgin Islands, 1989 natural disasters in the United States, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Guimaraes, Paulo, Frank L. Hefner, and Douglas P. Woodward. [74] There were 11 fatalities attributed to Hugo in Guadeloupe. Hurricane Hugo reached its maximum intensity as a Category 5 hurricane on September 15, 1989. [122] Three beach communities in Brunswick County, North Carolina, incurred a total of $55 million in damage;[124] with at least 25 beachfront homes battered by the storm;[2] another 100 structures were threatened by coastal erosion. I recorded this program and probably watched the National Hurricane Center segment a hundred times, dreaming of what it would be like to work there. Neighboring Dorchester county also suffered damage to a large number of homes, businesses and churches. WSR-57 radar image from Charleston at 12:19 AM EDT (0419 UTC) on Sep 22, 1989. Eight people were killed in Puerto Rico and nearly 28,000 people were left homeless. [52] A temporary air traffic control tower was erected at Alexander Hamilton Airport in Saint Croix six days after the storm. Nekton communities suffered increased mortality in river channels and marsh creeks near the Charleston harbor due to hypoxia and lowered salinity in the water, though their populations recovered within two months. Submit Storm Report, Current Conditions That night, we all huddled in our small, brick house. [113] Increased salinization of coastal soil led to increased tree mortality and discoloration or defoliation of trees. When Hurricane Irma was headed toward the coast of southern Florida in August, it had maximum wind speeds of 185 mph, according to the New … [11] The presence of another area of low-pressure north of Puerto Rico produced a gap in the Azores High, causing Hugo to gradually turn towards the west-northwest with its forward speed decelerating. Lincoln High School in McClellanville was selected as an emergency evacuation shelter due to maps indicating an elevation of 20 feet above sea level. Repair costs for Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority poles and wires amounted to $50 million; some repair efforts may have been undermined by the looting of copper wire in Hugo's aftermath. [159], A survey of bird populations in Saint Croix observed that Hugo's aftermath may have stressed birds more than the hurricane's immediate meteorological forces. But something even more ominous was becoming clear. [116] The NOAA classified wind damage as "extensive" in 15 counties. Local Hydro Information, Additional Information Rain and Rivers The company also offered free bus service for a week and distributed dry ice to the public. The strongest wind recorded on Puerto Rico's main island was documented at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, which reported a peak sustained wind of 104 mph (167 km/h) punctuated by a 120 mph (193 km/h) wind gust. [133], The devastation caused by Hugo led to the name's retirement from the World Meteorological Organization's cyclic list of Atlantic hurricane names in 1990; it was replaced by Humberto when the naming list for 1989 was used in 1995. These two storms were only three weeks apart. Then the reports started coming in – trees down everywhere. [29] Stores were damaged in Christiansted. [8] Until Hurricane Lorenzo in 2019, Hugo was the easternmost Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic. National Weather Service Plots of (a) aircraft altitude, (b) temperature, (c) surface wind speed, (d) radial wind velocity, (e) tangential wind velocity, and (f) vertical velocity during Hurricane Hugo at 1720–1729 UTC 15 Sep 1989. [128] Numerous creeks overflowed their banks in northeastern Ohio following heavy rainfall from the remnants of Hugo on the afternoon of September 22. Hugo was a Category 4 hurricane with wind speeds well over 130 mph when it hit Isle of Palms. As Hugo crossed the Gulf Stream and approached the South Carolina coast during the evening of September 21st the storm's pressure fell to 935 millibars (27.61 inches Hg.) [77] Hugo was the costliest hurricane in Montserrat's history, inflicting $260 million in damage. Stan McKenzie, owner of McKenzie Farms, Scranton, South Carolina. And with the power outage spanning that length of time, everyone in the neighborhood was emptying their refrigerators and feverishly cooking anything that would otherwise spoil. Of the many interests I had (astronomy, meteorology, gardening, baseball, and more) meteorology already had risen to the top. All international airlines evacuated their aircraft from Puerto Rico, though one Airbus A300 owned by American Airlines was left behind for emergency use. [8][52] As many as 100,000 people may have been left homeless throughout the region as a result of Hugo. [48]:10 An estimated 96 percent of people on the high-risk barrier islands and beaches evacuated, while 75–80 percent of people in moderate-risk areas evacuated. [48] Parts of the Georgia and North Carolina coasts also evacuated ahead of Hugo. [8][11] Concurrently, the eye of the storm expanded to a diameter of 40 mi (65 km). Ships at the marina in Isle of Palms were crumpled into a heap on the mainland shore. [159] El Yunque National Forest lost 15 percent of its trees, valued at $5.2 million. [71] Doctors were also sent to Guadeloupe from La Meynard Hospital in Martinique. Pleasant and Awendaw, SC:  Ground zero for Hugo's landfall on the South Carolina coast, Mt. ", Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, "Eastern North Pacific Hurricane Season of 1989", 10.1175/1520-0493(1990)118<1186:ENPHSO>2.0.CO;2, "The revised Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT2)", "Hurricane Lorenzo Became the Strongest on Record in the Eastern Atlantic, Then Struck the Azores", "The National Hurricane Research Project: 50 Years of Research, Rough Rides, and Name Changes", "Hugo batters islands with 140-mph winds", "Hurricane Pummels Resort Islands of Caribbean", "Some Puerto Ricans slow to prepare for hurricane's possible destruction", "Hugo's raging winds devastate Puerto Rico", "Hurricane heads towards Bahamas, Turks & Caicos", "Don't jump gun but stay tuned, Floridians told", "Coastal residents keep weary eye on Hugo", "Historic Charleston ready for 'September gale' Hugo", "Train Jaunt to Savannah Stuck at Atlanta Station", Evacuation decision making and public response in Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina, "Deadly Hugo Slams Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands", "The Deadliest, Costliest, and Most Intense United States Tropical Cyclones From 1851 to 2010 (And Other Frequency Requested Hurricane Facts)", "Hurricane Routs Thousands in Path Across Caribbean", "Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in the Dutch Caribbean", "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)", "Genèse et dynamique de l'ouragan Hugo sur la Guadeloupe", "Hugo lashes Leeward Islands, bears down on Puerto Rico", "Les RECORDS en matière de CYCLONES TROPICAUX", "Hugo kills 9, surges toward Puerto Rico", "Hugo's winds virtually exploded the Caribe Hilton's boarded-up windows", "Seeds of a Storm : A Puerto Rican Tropical Rain Forest Sprouts New Life in the Wake of Hurricane Hugo", "Estimated damage at Holden Beach: about $30 million", "NOAA Sees the Fifth Hurricane Humberto Through High-powered Lens", "Waiting in the wings: Hurricane Humberto", "Gilbert, Hugo cut from names for hurricanes", "Il y a 29 ans, le cyclone Hugo ravageait la Guadeloupe", "Cyclone Hugo : la reconstruction éclair", "St. Croix's Climate Proved Explosive After Hurricane Hugo Hit The Island", "Motors, power generators and other equipment arrived from the...", "U.S. troops deploy to stem St. Croix violence", "All-time #NBArank: Top 10 power forwards ever", Supplemental Information on Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina, "Hugo, 20 years ago, was disaster relief catalyst", Daley 'shocked' at federal snub of offers to help, "Changes in the Coastal Fish Communities Following Hurricane Hugo in Guadeloupe Island", "Notes on Bats from Montserrat (Lesser Antilles) with Comments Concerning the Effects of Hurricane Hugo", "Blown in, Blown off, and Blown up: the Bats of Montserrat, BWI", "Some Initial Effects of Hurricane Hugo on Endangered and Endemic Species of West Indian Birds", "Ces chansons qui font l'actu après le cyclone", "Le passage dévastateur d'un ouragan : conséquences socio-économiques. 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