Charleston County Emergency Officials Remember Hugo

Charleston County Emergency Officials Remember Hugo

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Friday, current and former Charleston County emergency officials were emotional as they shared stories from their time during Hugo.

The hurricane was the strongest and costliest in the state's history and made landfall in South Carolina 25 years ago this weekend.

"The damage reports that were coming in to our Emergency Operations Center were so numerous our statistician couldn't even get it up on the board," Dennis Clark, the former Emergency Preparedness Center said. "We knew then that it hit us hard. It really had hit us hard."

Dennis Clark was the director of the emergency preparedness Division during Hugo.

Cathy Haynes said if the county got hit again, they would be ready.

"Our hurricane plan for Charleston County was in draft form when Hugo hit," Haynes said. "We are much more prepared. We still reflect on Hugo as lessons learned and what we can do to make it better."

The officials said they don't remember the statistics of the $6.5 billion in damage but the memories of the public's courage are still fresh.

"The people, the citizens, they didn't wait for the rescuers to come in on their white horses and make everything better," Haynes said. "They got out there and took responsibilities for themselves and tried to get their lives back together the best they could."

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