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Hugo at 30: Remembering the first US modern hurricane

1 year 11 months 4 weeks ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 September 20, 2019 8:44 AM September 20, 2019 in News
Source: Associated Press
Photo: Charlotte Observer

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - From evacuating hundreds of thousands of people from the coast to live TV coverage in the shrieking wind and rain, 1989's Hurricane Hugo might have been the first U.S. storm of the modern age.

When Hugo slammed into South Carolina just minutes before midnight on Sept. 21, 1989, the storm's 135 mph winds made it the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 20 years. Its $9.5 billion of damage made it the costliest storm in the nation's history, although now it ranks 18th. The 20-foot wall of water that surged inland just north of Charleston is still an Atlantic Coast record.

Because of the evacuation, just 13 people died in South Carolina in Hugo. Officials say more people - 22 - died in the cleanup.

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