CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A church damaged by Hurricane Hugo nearly three decades ago received new steeples to replace those the storm ripped away.
The hurricane, which made landfall on the night of Sept. 22, 1989, ripped the original steeples off the towers of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. The massive hurricane flung the spires across Savannah Highway.
A donor made it possible to replace those steeples Thursday with almost exact replicas of the former spires.
But the new additions, each of which is about 72 feet tall and made of fiberglass and steel, have one big advantage over those they replaced: they have been constructed to withstand future storms.
It took about five hours for the first steeple to be hoisted to the top of the tower. Work crews experienced some delays and issues but were ultimately able to carefully lift and maneuver the steeple and its cross above the church.
Many came to watch and share their memories.
“We were on the way home. My brother called. He said, ‘Deborah, the steeples are in the middle of Savannah Highway,’ and that’s what everyone remembers,” parishioner Deborah Nelson said. “So now they are going back on top. We had a wonderful benefactor who donated the money. They wanted to steeples back on the church and that’s why they are going up today.”
Some of the parishioners and those involved in the building of these new steeples wrote their names inside each one, leaving their mark in a place that hopefully will never be revealed by another storm.