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Infrared Satellite Image of Hurricane Hugo

GOES-7 Infrared Satellite Loop of Hugo (September 9-25, 1989)

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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.


Interactive Map of Hugo's track, impacts and storm surge

Interactive map of Hugo's track, impacts and storm surge
(courtesy of NOAA's Coastal Services Center)

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Video Series

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These videos feature interviews from the following people:

Jack Beven - Senior Hurricane Specialist, National Hurricane Center
James Brinkley - Storm Surge Unit, National Hurricane Center
Jim Cantore - Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
Rob Fowler - Chief Meteorologist, WCBD-TV

Cathy Haynes - Charleston County Emergency Management

Michael Lowry - Hurricane Specialist, The Weather Channel
Joe Riley - Mayor, City of Charleston
Louis Uccellini - Director, National Weather Service
Bill Walsh - Chief Meteorologist, WCSC-TV



Hugo Video Series



Before the Storm

Hugo Video Series



During the Storm

Hugo Video Series


After the Storm

Hugo Video Series


Looking Ahead

Hugo Video Series







Additional Information