MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Hurricane Hugo significantly changed the landscape of Mount Pleasant and the barrier islands.
Not only were its destructive winds responsible for leveling homes east of the Cooper River, but the storm also ushered in a period of economic growth.
Cheryll Woods-Flowers, former Mayor of Mt. Pleasant and realtor, says Hugo was the only major hurricane she’s ever seen.
“I thought like everybody else thought that property values were going to really hit hard,” said Woods-Flowers. “But I think that what it did was it brought a resurgence of people renovating, new things were built, a lot of money came into this area you can imagine because of all the devastation."
Before Hugo, Woods-Flowers remembers how a house in the Indian Village of Mount Pleasant in 1989, the year Hugo hit, would have sold for $75,000 at the most.
She says that same house today would be well over $500,000.
She stops short of giving Hugo all of the credit for Mount Pleasant’s building boom but admits it was a catalyst.
“I think that this was going to happen anyway," Woods-Flowers said."People are going to move here anyway, because of the baby boomers retiring, selling expensive properties, where they came from and buying cheaper here buying taxes when I tell people what their annual taxes are. And so that’s what’s driving the train. That’s really what’s driving the train.”