What Category Was Hurricane Hugo When It Hit South Carolina?

Twenty-five years ago around midnight on September 22, Hurricane Hugo made landfall just north of Charleston, South Carolina at Sullivan’s Island as a Category 4 storm with estimated maximum winds of 135-140 mph and a minimum central pressure of 934 millibars (27.58 inches of Hg). Hugo produced tremendous wind and storm surge damage along the coast and even produced hurricane force wind gusts several hundred miles inland into western North Carolina. In fact, Hugo produced the highest storm tide heights ever recorded along the U.S. East Coast, around 20 feet in Bulls Bay, SC near Cape Romain! At the time, Hugo was the strongest storm to strike the U.S. in the previous 20-year period and was the nation’s costliest hurricane on record in terms of monetary losses (~$7 billion in damage). It is estimated that there were 49 deaths directly related to the storm, 26 of which occurred in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For additional information, check out our Hurricane Hugo Event Review.

What category storm was Hugo when it hit South Carolina?

Twenty-five years ago around midnight on September 22, Hurricane Hugo made landfall just north of Charleston, South Carolina at Sullivan’s Island as a Category 4 storm with estimated maximum winds of 135-140 mph and a minimum central pressure of 934 millibars (27.58 inches of Hg).

What was the most severe hurricane to hit South Carolina?

Hurricane Hugo, September 1989. Considered by many to be the worst hurricane in modern South Carolina history. The storm leveled parts of the Charleston area, as well as the southern Grand Strand, before cutting through the center of South Carolina, smacking the Columbia and Sumter areas, and blasting Charlotte.

What category was Hugo when it hit Charlotte NC?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Thirty-two years ago, a Category 4 Hurricane ravaged the Carolinas. On Sept. 22, 1989, Hurricane Hugo made landfall, and caused destruction along the East Coast, and even caused catastrophic damage in the Charlotte area.

Has South Carolina ever had a Category 5 hurricane?

South Carolina has had three category 4 hurricanes hit the coast, but has never been hit by a category 5 storm. The three storms were Hurricane Hazel in 1954, which hit the North Carolina South Carolina state line; Hurricane Gracie in 1959, which hit Beaufort; and Hurricane Hugo in 1989 which hit the Isle of Palms.

Hugo was a Category 4 hurricane with wind speeds well over 130 mph when it hit Isle of Palms. The storm also devastated the Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe, St. Croix, and Puerto Rico.

Hugo‘s winds across western North Carolina caused tremendous destruction to a region that virtually never sees such impacts from a tropical system,” said NWS. Combs recalled people were happy to see Dukes crews, knowing power would soon be restored and the fallen trees removed.

The night before Hugo was expected to impact the Carolinas, NBC Charlottes Larry Sprinkle said he was on his way home from a station event when his instincts told him to check on the status of the storm. Sprinkle recalled being on the air as the storm battered the Queen City and the surrounding area when a huge part of the ceiling collapsed. Our anchor at the time, Rick Jackson, said, ‘Well come back to Larry in a moment,’ but there was a just an empty chair where I had been sitting,” he said.

After Hurricane Hugo caused at least 86 deaths and upwards of $10 billion in damages 30 years ago, the World Meteorological Organization retired the name.

On Sept. 22, 1989, Hurricane Hugo made landfall, and caused destruction along the East Coast, and even caused catastrophic damage in the Charlotte area.

Hugo made landfall near Charleston, South Carolina, and it reached Charlotte about five hours later. We werent a coastal community that was in the bulls eye, we got pulled into this thing, Crump said.

The city of Charlotte, through Hurricane Hugo, learned how to handle crisis, Crump said. It was being in a different world, it was not the town I grew up in riding around most of the streets seemed like they were blocked just everywhere, George said.

Hurricane Hugo was a powerful Cape Verde tropical cyclone that inflicted widespread damage across the northeastern Caribbean and the Southeastern United States in September 1989. Across its track, Hugo affected approximately 2 million people.[1] Its direct effects killed 67 people and inflicted $11 billion[a] in damage.[b] The damage wrought by the storm was more costly than any Atlantic hurricane preceding it. At its peak strength east of the Lesser Antilles, Hugo was classified as a Category 5 hurricanethe highest rating on the SaffirSimpson scale. Over the course of five days, Hugo made landfalls on Guadeloupe, Saint Croix, Puerto Rico, and South Carolina, bringing major hurricane conditions to these and surrounding areas.[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. The scale of Hugo‘s impacts led to the retirement of the name Hugo from Atlantic hurricane names.

Between September 1718, Hugo moved across the northeastern Caribbean as a slightly weaker system before emerging into the Sargasso Sea . Hugo was Montserrat ‘s costliest hurricane on record and brought down the island’s entire power grid.

Widespread damage occurred in Puerto Rico and much of the island suffered power and water service failures. The surge and winds wrought extensive damage across South Carolina‘s barrier islands , destroying many beachfront homes and other coastal installations. Hurricane Hugo as a Category 5 hurricane.Hugo‘s encounter with Puerto Rico weakened the storm substantially: its eye became ill-defined in satellite imagery and its winds had diminished to around 100 mph (155 km/h).

[11] By this juncture, the broader weather patterns that steered Hugo had changed: the Azores High became a dominant influence north of the hurricane and an upper-level low emerged over Georgia . [8] These two features generated a strong southeasterly steering flow within which Hugo was contained, shaping its trajectory towards the Southeastern United States . At 04:00 UTC on September 22, Hugo made landfall on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina , with sustained winds of 140 mph (220 km/h).

[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. Flight data showed that the plane likely encountered a mesovortex comparable to a weak tornado spanning a kilometer across. [16][18] One of Kermit ‘s four engines overheated within the hurricane‘s eyewall , prompting its shutdown that caused the plane to quickly lose altitude as it entered the eye.

[16] To avoid overworking the three remaining engines, the pilots orbited the center of Hugo for an hour within the 9-mile-wide (14 km) eye while bringing the plane to a gradual ascent. 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. The first hurricane watch was issued by the NHC at 09:00 UTC on September 15, covering much of the Lesser Antilles from Saint Lucia northward to the British Virgin Islands .

As Hugo tracked northwest across the Sargasso Sea between September 1920, tropical storm warnings were issued for coastal areas of the Dominican Republic and The Bahamas . The coverage of these watches and warnings were incrementally revised leading up to Hugo‘s final landfall; at their greatest extent, hurricane watches were in effect between St. Augustine, Florida , and the Chesapeake Bay , while hurricane warnings were in effect between Fernandina Beach, Florida , and Oregon Inlet in North Carolina . Barbados served as a staging area for disaster response in the Caribbean due to its strategic position in the region and distance away from Hugo‘s forecast impacts.

They were joined by additional teams from the United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Non-critical patients at Princess Margaret Hospital in Roseau, Dominica were sent home beginning on September 15 to free space for possible hurricane victims. Disaster preparedness plans were set into motion by Martinique’s government ministries, dispatching crews to board windows and secure buildings.

Although warnings from the NHC afforded ample time for preparations, shelters were required to be provisioned longer than in typical hurricanes. 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. : A5 On September 18, Puerto Rican Governor Rafael Hernndez Coln ordered a shutdown of the island’s electric grid to mitigate damage.

A state of emergency was declared in the Dominican Republic on September 18. : 1A Four international airports were closed that day and businesses began to fortify against Hugo‘s effects. 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. : A7 Carroll A. Campbell Jr. , the Governor of South Carolina , issued a voluntary evacuation order before the coast was placed under a hurricane warning, with the initial directive intended for barrier islands, beaches, and peninsulas outside Charleston.

[48] : 14 Civil authorities in Glynn County, Georgia , urged the 15,000 residents along barrier islands to begin evacuating on the morning of September 21 ahead of hurricane warnings. Extensive flooding occurred on Antigua, and power outages befell the island after utility poles were uprooted by the storm. The damage was heaviest towards the southern portions of the island as the center of Hugo passed 50 mi (80 km) south.

Hugo‘s damage toll in Saint Kitts and Nevis amounted to $46 million, [57] largely sustained by shoreline structures and crops. [54] Coastal roads were damaged by the hurricane‘s choppy seas; a washout along a primary thoroughfare isolated the village of Dubique. The hurricane moved near the Virgin Islands and made two landfalls in Puerto Rico as it egressed the Caribbean, causing considerable destruction.

The Associated Press reported “numerous injuries” and “scores of homes destroyed” on Tortola , the largest island in the BVI. The hurricane also caused widespread power outages in the Dominican Republic while tracking northwest towards the continental United States. [54][67] A minimum air pressure of 941.1 mbar (hPa; 27.79 inHg) was recorded at Pointe–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–Pitre .

The right-front quadrant of Hugo‘s eyewall moved over Montserrat on September 17, raking the island with sustained winds of 140 mph (220 km/h). Approximately ninety percent of homes suffered either major to total roof loss, [78] with the most severe damage occurring in the Kinsale and St. Patrick’s areas. [21] : 4 The island’s power grid was left entirely dysfunctional following the storm across both high and low voltage distribution networks .

In addition to the rain, surge, and wind associated with Hugo, the National Severe Storms Forecast Center received unconfirmed reports of tornadoes produced by Hugo in South Carolina and west-central North Carolina, though it was difficult to differentiate tornadic damage from the broader-swaths of wind damage caused by the hurricane. 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. 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.

Rainfall totals in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin IslandsHugo killed 3 people and left 3,500 homeless on Saint Croix. The heaviest damage on Saint Croix was inflicted upon its northern coast from the mouth of the Salt River to the island’s eastern end. Severe damage occurred in south-central Saint Croix near the Hovensa oil refinery and Alexander Hamilton International Airport .

A field survey conducted by the National Academy of Sciences estimated that gusts of up to 121 mph (194 km/h) occurred on the island. Hugo made two landfalls in the Puerto Rico territory on September 18on Vieques and Fajardoas a high-end Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds estimated at 125 mph (205 km/h). [8] The heaviest rain from Hugo in Puerto Rico occurred in the northeastern part of the island due to the hurricane‘s trajectory and orographic lifting induced by El Yunque .

Electric motors at Carrazo Dam were flooded, disrupting water service to San JuanCulebra and Vieques, two small islands east of Puerto Rico, experienced harsher impacts than the main island; : 1A between the two, Culebra experienced stronger winds and heavier damage. Hurricane reconnaissance observations and the resulting damage in Culebra suggested that the island was struck by 150-mph (240 km/h) wind gusts. Beach on the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico a few days before Hurricane HugoThe worst damage on the principal island of Puerto Rico occurred along its northeast coast at Fajardo and Luquillo , where the angle of attack of Hugo‘s winds was most favorable for high storm surge.

An aerial survey from the U.S. Coast Guard found that winds unroofed 80 percent of homes between San Juan and Fajardo. : 1A Poor maintenance had left the dam vulnerable to a larger catastrophe; however, Hugo‘s rainfall was ultimately less than forecast. Fallen power lines and damage to over 120 homes marooned the mayor of Arroyo and several others; : 14A the municipality had been struck by waves 35 ft (11 m) high.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds were estimated by the NHC to have reached 140 mph (220 km/h) during landfall, making Hugo a Category 4 hurricane. This estimate was derived from an aircraft reconnaissance flight into the storm shortly before landfall; no weather stations were positioned along Bulls Bay, where Hugo‘s strongest winds likely occurred. This rise in water induced by Hugo resulted in the highest storm tides ever recorded along the U.S. East Coast .

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ‘s Storm Data publication, there were 35 deaths associated with Hugo in South Carolina. The Ben Sawyer Bridge connecting the South Carolina mainland to Sullivan’s Island was heavily damaged and became stuck in an open position. [106] All coastal state parks with the exception of Hunting Island and Edisto Beach sustained significant damage.

The storm surge accumulated within the Ashley , Cooper , and Santee rivers, forcing them over their banks and submerging low-lying areas 10 mi (16 km) upstream. Eighty percent of roofs in the city were damaged, with many already susceptible to strong winds due to poor maintenance and weak structural integrity. [2] Extensive losses to timber occurred at Francis Marion National Forest , where 75 percent of marketable trees were felled.

Most trees were truncated 1025 ft (3.07.6 m) above the ground, with others snapped or uprooted; the cost of damage was estimated by the U.S. Forest Service at between $95115 million. As protective sand dunes were whittled down by the hurricane, beaches along 150 mi (240 km) of the coastal Carolinas recessed 50200 ft (1561 m) inland. Devastated groves of pine trees were characteristic of the hurricane‘s impacts, in addition to numerous unroofed homes and cotton crops injured by the winds and rain.

[8] Storm surge along the coast of North Carolina west of Cape Fear reached 9 ft (2.7 m) above mean sea level. Three beach communities in Brunswick County, North Carolina , incurred a total of $55 million in damage; with at least 25 beachfront homes battered by the storm; [2] another 100 structures were threatened by coastal erosion. Sixty percent of the sand dunes in Long Beach were eliminated by the hurricane, further exposing areas inland to the storm’s fury.

Millions of trees were felled across the Foothills and Piedmont of North Carolina; some areas endured the resulting power outages for weeks. Parts of Southwest Virginia were also impacted by the core of strong winds associated with Hugo, which passed through the state as a tropical storm. As was the case in North Carolina, the winds downed numerous trees, causing widespread power outages and structural damage.

[106] Widespread flash flooding occurred across eastern Tennessee , forcing the evacuation of people from affected areas; some of the evacuees had fled South Carolina for the Great Smoky Mountains . Numerous creeks overflowed their banks in northeastern Ohio following heavy rainfall from the remnants of Hugo on the afternoon of September 22. Fifteen counties in Pennsylvania reported high winds in connection with Hugo, with some sustaining damage to trees.

7,400 residence in Verdun and West Island also lost electricity when tree fell on power lines; it was restored about 12 hours later. Military aircraft delivered 50 tons (45 tonnes) of supplies and over 500 emergency workers to Guadeloupe, along with Minister of Overseas France Louis Le Pensec ; : 4A 3,000 soldiers also accompanied the transport. Two days after Hugo‘s passage, an Arospatiale SA 330 Puma rescue helicopter crashed in La Dsirade, killing nine people.

The emergency operations center in Montserrat was formally activated on September 18 to effectively deal with the aftermath of Hugo. The ship also brought a helicopter and a crew of 100 sailors that aided in cleaning up roads between Plymouth and W. H. Bramble Airport. A temporary air traffic control tower was erected at Alexander Hamilton Airport in Saint Croix six days after the storm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dispatched a C-141 airlifter with government relief workers and communications equipment to Saint Croix. [137] West Indies Transport, Inc., used ships damaged by Hugo as “docks, repair facilities, and housing for employees” in the storm’s aftermath. Three days after the storm hit, the Governor of the United States Virgin IslandsAlexander Farrelly asked President Bush for federal assistance in restoring order to the island.

[142] : A6 However, local law enforcement in Saint Croix was unable to stop widespread looting, with armed gangs reportedly taking root the streets of Christiansted. [142] For the first time since the Baltimore riot of 1968 , American troops were deployed in response to a domestic civil disturbance; with the authorization of U.S. President George H. W. Bush under the Insurrection Act of 1807 , the Pentagon sent 1,100 troops and federal marshals to augment the security presence as local police and the National Guard lost control of the situation. Due to a lack of planning for housing shelter residents, 500 schools remained closed weeks after the storm, affecting at least 150,000 students.

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. Governor Carroll Campbell touring Hugo‘s damage in South CarolinaAn overnight curfew was enacted by Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. on September 22 while martial law was declared for Sullivan’s Island. Several members of repair crews were killed or injured in South Carolina and Puerto Rico from ungrounded portable generators .

Churches and other private non-profit groups managed replacement housing for Hugo victims in at least four South Carolina counties whose governments lacked such capabilities. [151] : 2 In addition to those offered housing grants, 243 families were moved to FEMA mobile homes beginning a week after Hugo until April 1990. An immense salvage effort was undertaken to harvest downed pine trees for pulpwood before they deteriorated to the point where they could not be used.

Delays in traffic in the city led to an estimated 35 percent increase in vehicular operating costs in the months following the hurricane. [159] Extensive defoliation was documented in the forests of Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, and Puerto Rico, where vegetation was stripped bare of their flowers, fruits, and leaves. Frugivorous, nectarivorous , and seminivorous bird populations declined most among avian diet groups as a result of vegetation loss.

The destruction of habitats forced the relocation of some avian species such as the pearly-eyed thrasher ( Margarops fuscatus ) and northern waterthrush ( Seiurus noveboracensis ). Sewage contamination and poor water quality briefly impacted shellfish populations along the coast of South Carolina. 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.

[4] : 5A The National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, reports 86 total deaths in connection with Hugo. ^ a b c HURDAT , the official database for the intensities and tracks of Atlantic tropical cyclones, lists the maximum sustained winds of storms to the nearest five knots . “Hurricane Hugo: South Carolina Forest Land Research and Management Related to the Storm” (PDF) .

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq Lawrence, Miles B. Evacuation decision making and public response in Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina (PDF) (Report). “The Deadliest, Costliest, and Most Intense United States Tropical Cyclones From 1851 to 2010 (And Other Frequency Requested Hurricane Facts)” (PDF) .

“Seeds of a Storm : A Puerto Rican Tropical Rain Forest Sprouts New Life in the Wake of Hurricane Hugo” . A senior Virgin Islands police official said he could not reach most of his officers during the 24 hours after the eye of the hurricane struck about midnight. ^ Supplemental Information on Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina (PDF) (Report to the Honorable Ernest F. Hollings, U.S. Senate).

The original title of this article is “Changes in the Coastal Fish Communities Following Hurricane Hugo in Guadelope [sic] Island” CS1 maint: postscript ( link ) Pedersen, Scott C.; Genoways, Hugh H.; Freeman, Patricia W. (1996). “Some Initial Effects of Hurricane Hugo on Endangered and Endemic Species of West Indian Birds” (PDF) .

Hurricane Hugo

The eleventh tropical cyclone, eighth named storm, sixth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 1989 Atlantic hurricane season, Hugo arose from a cluster of thunderstorms near Cape Verde on September 10, 1989. This cluster coalesced into a tropical depression and strengthened into a tropical storm—namedHurricane watches and warnings were issued by the National Hurricane Center for areas in Hugo‘s path from September 15 to 22; several hundred thousand people from the Caribbean to the continental U.S. would evacuate to safety. Hugo was the strongest hurricane to strike the northeastern Caribbean since 1979. The hurricane proved to be among the most destructive storms in history for several islands in the region. Guadeloupe bore the brunt of the storm in the Leeward Islands, sustaining damage to the entirety of its banana crop and most of its coconut palms and sugar cane crop. Three thousand houses were unroofed, contributing to the displacement of 35,000 people from their homes. Hugo was Montserrat’s costliest hurricane on record and brought down the island’s entire power grid. Ninety percent of homes on the island suffered significant to total roof loss after the island was struck by the eyewall.The hurricane‘s impacts continued into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, causing over $1 billion in damage. Wind gusts up to 168 mph (270 km/h) were measured in Saint Croix, where property damage exceeded $500 million with over 90 percent of buildings damaged; three people were killed on the island. Widespread damage occurred in Puerto Rico and much of the island suffered power and water service failures. Eight people were killed in Puerto Rico and nearly 28,000 people were left homeless.Hugo was the strongest hurricane to landfall on the continental U.S. in two decades. Along the coast of South Carolina, Hugo set new records for storm surge heights along the U.S. East Coast, reaching 20.2 ft (6.2 m) near McClellanville, South Carolina. The surge and winds wrought extensive damage across South Carolina‘s barrier islands, destroying many beachfront homes and other coastal installations. Hugo‘s northward acceleration at landfall led to unusually large and significant impacts to forests between South Carolina and Virginia, inflicting further damage to property; in South Carolina alone the loss of timber was estimated at $1.04 billion. Flood and wind impacts followed Hugo across much of the eastern United States and into eastern Canada.The cleanup and recovery efforts that followed were extensive throughout the areas affected by Hugo. There were at least 39 fatalities during the post-storm recovery phase; more people died in South Carolina in the hurricane‘s aftermath than during its passage. American troops were deployed in Saint Croix to quell pervasive looting that began amid Hugo‘s devastation—this was the first deployment of the American military in response to a domestic crisis since 1968. The damage caused by Hugo also led to significant ecological repercussions. Habitat loss caused bat populations in Montserrat to fall 20-fold, while the populations of several endemic bird species declined or were disrupted across the eastern Caribbean. Coastal bird populations in South Carolina were forced 200 miles (320 km) inland.

Meteorological history[edit]

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) considered Hugo to be a “classical Cape Verde hurricane“, referring to the storm’s origins near Cape Verde.At 18:00 UTC on September 15, the first aircraft reconnaissance mission to probe Hugo arrived at the storm, finding Hugo‘s maximum sustained winds to have peaked at 160 mph (260 km/h);Hugo‘s encounter with Puerto Rico weakened the storm substantially: its eye became ill-defined in satellite imagery and its winds had diminished to around 100 mph (155 km/h).

Reconnaissance flight N42RF[edit]

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.

Watches and warnings[edit]

In the northeastern Caribbean, warnings issued by the NHC were disseminated by the six meteorological offices of the Caribbean Meteorological Council.

Caribbean[edit]

Barbados served as a staging area for disaster response in the Caribbean due to its strategic position in the region and distance away from Hugo‘s forecast impacts.Across both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, 217 shelters were opened; over 161,000 people sought refuge in these shelters.At least 30,000 people evacuated in Puerto Rico, making it one of the largest evacuations in the territory’s history; government and media representatives described the evacuation as “the best coordinated weather event they could recall.”

The Bahamas and the Continental United States[edit]

Buildings were boarded up in Nassau, Bahamas, and classes were cancelled at The College of The Bahamas on September 18.The hurricane watch for the Carolinas was issued 30 hours before Hugo‘s landfall.

Caribbean[edit]

Hugo was the strongest storm to traverse the northeastern Caribbean since Hurricane David in 1979.Guadeloupe and Montserrat were hardest-hit among the Leeward Islands, and collectively suffered over $1 billion in damage and recorded 21 fatalities.Dominica was most affected among the Windward Islands.The hurricane moved near the Virgin Islands and made two landfalls in Puerto Rico as it egressed the Caribbean, causing considerable destruction. 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.

Guadeloupe[edit]

Guadeloupe sustained the heaviest impacts among the Leeward Islands from Hugo.Telecommunications were knocked out by the storm throughout Guadeloupe as winds brought down power and telephone lines.

Montserrat[edit]

Although Montserrat was struck by many significant storms in the 18th and 19th centuries, the last major hurricane to strike the island before Hugo occurred in 1928.All government buildings and schools in Montserrat were impacted.

United States[edit]

Hugo was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history at the time and one of its costliest disasters overall, with a damage toll of $8 billion estimated by the NHC.In addition to the rain, surge, and wind associated with Hugo, the National Severe Storms Forecast Center received unconfirmed reports of tornadoes produced by Hugo in South Carolina and west-central North Carolina, though it was difficult to differentiate tornadic damage from the broader-swaths of wind damage caused by the hurricane. There were 26 fatalities in the United States attributed directly to the weather conditions produced by Hugo; among the country’s states and territories, South Carolina had the highest death toll with 13 direct fatalities. 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. The homes of more than 200,000 families nationwide were damaged or destroyed; 129,687 families were affected in the Carolinas and 87,700 families were affected in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

U.S. Virgin Islands[edit]

Hugo was the first significant hurricane to strike the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico region since Hurricane Betsy in 1956.The eye of Hugo passed over Saint Croix at 06:00 UTC on September 18 (02:00 a.m. AST).Hugo killed 3 people and left 3,500 homeless on Saint Croix. Private and government property damage exceeded $500 million.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.

Puerto Rico[edit]

Two people drowned in Puerto Rico during Hugo‘s passage according to reports from the National Research Council and NHC.Culebra and Vieques, two small islands east of Puerto Rico, experienced harsher impacts than the main island;The worst damage on the principal island of Puerto Rico occurred along its northeast coast at Fajardo and Luquillo, where the angle of attack of Hugo‘s winds was most favorable for high storm surge.Power outages affected 80 percent of Puerto Rico.

South Carolina[edit]

The eye of Hugo moved ashore South Carolina at Sullivan’s Island at 04:00 UTC on September 22 (12:00 a.m. EDT). The storm’s maximum sustained winds were estimated by the NHC to have reached 140 mph (220 km/h) during landfall, making Hugo a Category 4 hurricane. This estimate was derived from an aircraft reconnaissance flight into the storm shortly before landfall; no weather stations were positioned along Bulls Bay, where Hugo‘s strongest winds likely occurred.The South Carolina Electric and Gas Company (SCE&G) called Hugo “the single greatest natural disaster ever to strike the state”, inflicting $5.9 billion in property damage. The hurricane‘s trajectory swept across three major South Carolina cities.Charleston County was at the epicenter of Hugo‘s devastation.Coastal impacts in South Carolina were extensive beyond Charleston County. The waterfront in Georgetown suffered heavily, with the destruction of 150 homes. Major damage was inflicted upon 350 homes and minor damage was inflicted upon another 500 homes, with their aggregate losses amounting to $87 million. Farms and businesses around Georgetown sustained $10 million in damage. Only a few beachfront homes withstood the hurricane in Pawleys Island. Debris from destroyed homes piled atop streets along the island’s south end. Hugo caused about $944 million in damage in Horry County.Hugo‘s acceleration at landfall allowed strong winds to penetrate well inland, causing widespread wind damage across the eastern two-thirds of the state.

North Carolina and Virginia[edit]

Across North Carolina, Hugo damaged 2,638 structures and destroyed 205;With the aid of Hugo‘s rapid forward motion, the swath of damaging winds produced by Hugo in interior South Carolina penetrated into western North Carolina and brought extensive damage to areas that rarely experienced impacts from tropical cyclones.Parts of Southwest Virginia were also impacted by the core of strong winds associated with Hugo, which passed through the state as a tropical storm. Bath and Bland counties registered 81-mph (130 km/h) gusts; these were the fastest gusts measured in Virginia in connection with the passing storm. As was the case in North Carolina, the winds downed numerous trees, causing widespread power outages and structural damage. Their arboreal debris obstructed hundreds of roads. Sporadic damage from Hugo occurred as far east as Interstate 95. The damage toll in Virginia was approximately $60 million, with over $40 million incurred in Carroll and Grayson County, Virginia counties;While Hugo‘s quick traversal of the Southeastern U.S. enlarged the area of inland wind damage, it also attenuated rainfall totals;

Elsewhere in the United States[edit]

Strong winds in Georgia downed trees in four counties, damaging homes and power lines. About 50–75 trees were toppled around Savannah, where wind gusts reached 54 mph (87 km/h).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. This led to strong winds over the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. Nearly 85,000 homes and businesses lost power on Long Island. One person was killed in Norwich, New York, after a falling tree struck the car he was in.

Canada[edit]

After becoming extratropical, the remnants of Hugo entered Canada into the province of Ontario. In the Niagara Falls area, winds between 37 and 43 mph (60 and 70 km/h) were reported. Winds near 47 mph (75 km/h) were also reported in Toronto. Heavy rainfall also occurred in Ontario, with precipitation in Ontario peaking at 4.5 in (110 mm), while a maximum amount of 1.85 in (47 mm) was reported in Toronto. As a result of the storm, blackouts and car accidents were reported in Toronto. Furthermore, heavy rains and high winds also occurred across the southern portions of Ontario.The remnants of Hugo tracked northeastward and entered the Canadian province of Quebec. In Montreal, rainfall reached only 0.43 in (11 mm), while precipitation amounts in the province peaked at 3.73 in (95 mm). In addition to light rain, high winds were reported in the province. Winds in Montreal gusted up to 59 mph (95 km/h), leaving 13,400 homes without electricity. 7,400 residence in Verdun and West Island also lost electricity when tree fell on power lines; it was restored about 12 hours later. While in Brossard and Chambly, power was lost to 5,000 homes and 1,000 homes in Valleyfield. In addition, high winds and heavy rainfall also occurred in the St. Lawrence River Valley.Similar effects were reported in New Brunswick, though little rainfall occurred in the province. Winds gusting to 77 mph (124 km/h) was reported in Moncton. As a result of high winds, power poles were toppled and tree branches fell, which caused most of New Brunswick’s 15,000 power failures. In addition, several tree and signs were blown over in Saint John and Moncton. The storm also significantly affected the apple crop in New Brunswick. Strong winds were also reported in Newfoundland, with gusts recorded up to 43 mph (69 km/h).

Lesser Antiles[edit]

A plane bearing 60 rescue workers and emergency supplies was sent to Guadeloupe from Paris on September 19, with two more relief aircraft held on standby.The emergency operations center in Montserrat was formally activated on September 18 to effectively deal with the aftermath of Hugo. As more robust communication systems were destroyed by the storm, communications between the island and the outside world were primarily handled by amateur radio.

Virgin Islands[edit]

President Bush declared the U.S. Virgin Islands a disaster area.Three days after the storm hit, the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands Alexander Farrelly asked President Bush for federal assistance in restoring order to the island.National Basketball Association player Tim Duncan, born in Christiansted and a two-time NBA MVP, of the San Antonio Spurs attributed his basketball career to Hurricane Hugo‘s destruction. When Tim was 13 years old, he was a competitive swimmer who was considered one of the top United States competitors for the 400-meter freestyle. However, in the aftermath of Hugo, every swimming pool on Saint Croix was destroyed, including the Olympic-size swimming pool. With no pool to practice in, Duncan turned to basketball. Tim Duncan said, “I’m very fortunate to be where I am today. Without Hugo, I might still be swimming.”

Puerto Rico[edit]

Puerto Rican Governor Hernandez Colón solicited a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico from President Bush after surveying the damage wrought by Hugo.While power in San Juan was largely restored within 48 hours, many in Puerto Rico remained without power in the days following Hugo. On September 24, 47,500 businesses and homes in Puerto Rico were without power; the

Continental United States[edit]

An overnight curfew was enacted by Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. on September 22 while martial law was declared for Sullivan’s Island.Between 15–20 thousand people were left homeless in Charleston County.

Retirement[edit]

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

Ecological aftermath[edit]

The defoliation of mangroves and the introduction of freshwater runoff into brackish waters created anoxic conditions that killed many fish in Guadeloupe’s mangrove habitats; fish populations would recover by January 1990.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. Frugivorous, nectarivorous, and seminivorous bird populations declined most among avian diet groups as a result of vegetation loss. The bridled quail-dove (Sewage contamination and poor water quality briefly impacted shellfish populations along the coast of South Carolina. The turbulent action generated by Hugo in streams lowered concentrations of dissolved oxygen and increased concentrations of toxic phenols. 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.