’It was apocalyptic’ - Mt. Pleasant woman remembers experience in NYC on 9/11

VIDEO: ’It was apocalyptic’ - Mt. Pleasant woman remembers experience in NYC on 9/11

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Most people can remember where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001.

However, some adults now, were too young to remember the day.

Helen Rutledge has a unique story because she was in New York City the day planes flew into the World Trade Center.

“It was a lost day of wandering and not knowing what’s going on," said Rutledge who lived in New York for 11 years before moving south.

She just opened an antique store called Bibelot Global Finds in Mt. Pleasant. Bibelot is defined as an object of beauty or rarity, and the store features unique pieces from all over the world.

The weekend before the September 11 attacks, she and her boyfriend at the time, Porter, were out of town. They arrived into the city late and decided to take it easy the next morning before heading to work. He watered some plants and she waited, both in no hurry to get on the subway. He worked at the Deutsche Bank right next to the World Trade Center and she worked in Tribeca.

“We were late for work,” she said. “Our subway was stopped in Soho. It didn’t make it down and we didn’t know why we were stopped.”

So they got off the subway and started looking around when the second plane hit.

"And we saw the buildings fall,” Rutledge said. “We just were in shock. It was apocalyptic. People were just on the street not talking. We all looked like zombies,” she added.

No one could get to work and no one could get on the subway, so the couple went back to Porter’s apartment.

“The city shut down. We just sat there over the next couple of days like, what are we going to do? The city was full of smoke burning and no one was going to work,” she remembers.

A few weeks later Porter had to commute to work in Piscataway and their lives changed.

“It was very disruptive. It had a big impact,” said Rutledge. Ten months later she decided to leave New York and move down south. She said the September 11 attacks made her understand how quickly things can change and do change.

“I was really trying to figure out what was my next step and what did I really want to do? Not because I had to, but because I loved it," she said.

This lead her to Charleston and lead her to buy the antique store, which just opened in mid-August. You can read more about the store by clicking: here.

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