Monday, September 21, 2009

20 years ago...

The big news in Charleston, SC today is the 20 year anniversary of Hurricane Hugo. At the time Hugo was the most destructive storm in history. It has, of course, since been surpassed by Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina.

What an experience that long night was. We (Jerry, Craig & I) hunkered down in our family room to ride out the storm. We lived in the Charleston suburb of Goose Creek at the time and we saw no need to evacuate since we were not close to the ocean. We lost electricity at about 8pm and turned to our portable radios. Once the local radio stations were knocked off the air we tuned into a strong signal station in Jacksonville, FL. Many other Charlestonians also found that station and soon the DJ was fielding calls from Charleston and we followed the progress of the storm from those calls. Amazingly we never lost telephone service.

When the eye of the storm passed over everything became eerily silent. Everyone in the neighborhood ventured out during the eye to see what had happened. Jerry actually climbed up on our roof to try to fix one of our roof turbines. Then the 2nd wave came and it was even more intense than the first.

We were incredibly lucky and had minor damage to our house. A few holes in the roof and trees down on our fence were about the extent of it. In fact, our insurance company settled our claim over the phone and sent us a check without question.

We also were lucky that our water and electricity were restored earlier than most although I will admit that about 2 days after the storm Jerry and I did resort to stripping down and showering in a downpour on our back patio. We grabbed a bar of soap and a sheet to protect from the neighbors' prying eyes and took turns washing the grime and tree sap off. It still ranks as the best shower I've ever had!

Needless to saw we take Hurricane season seriously around here!


Joyce said...

Man!!!!!! Do I remember this night. I am in Columbia----150 miles from the coast!! This was the worst night of my life and the following 2 weeks were just about as bad. The floor of my den was covered with girls from USC that my daughter brought home that night. Everyone in my family slept through the storm, but, not me. Oh no, I will remember the sound of that wind forever!!!
I still get "antsey" everytime the wind starts to blow at my house. I also will not be without a generator EVER again.

Vicki W said...

I had just moved from Charlotte to Va Beach earlier that year. My husband's friend stayed in his house on Broad St in downtown Charleston. The stories were amazing.