WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Hurricane Hugo by the numbers

Posted September 19, 2014
Updated September 22, 2014

Hurricane Hugo

Can you believe it's been 25 years since Hurricane Hugo?

For those new to the Carolinas or too young to recall, Hugo was for Charleston, S.C., and Charlotte what Fran was for Wilmington and Raleigh, except Hugo was worse.

Here are some of the key statistics from that deadly day that began around midnight Sept. 21, 1989:

Hugo came ashore near Charleston as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds in excess of 135 mph.

Most buildings in downtown Charleston suffered some damage, although, the worst impacts were on the beach towns north of downtown, including Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms.

A storm tide – the combination of storm surge and high tide – measured over 20 feet in some spots.

The storm was blamed for 35 deaths, including seven in North Carolina.

Damage was estimated at $7.2 billion. At the time, it shattered dollar records for destruction, although three years later Hurricane Andrew did even more havoc in Florida.

Sustained winds peaked in Charlotte at 85 mph, with gusts to around 100 mph.

North Carolina lost an estimated 100,000 trees.

A large swath of western and west-central North Carolina was without power for two weeks or more.

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all