I moved to South Carolina in 1988, when my husband got a teaching job there. Thirteen months later, we learned of a massive category 5 hurricane named Hugo bearing down on the Carolinas. At that time, Hugo was the largest Atlantic coast hurricane on record. The highest wind speed was 162 mph. The cost of Hugo was 11 Billion (1989 USD), which was the highest cost of an Atlantic hurricane until Andrew hit in 1992. Sixty-seven people lost their lives due to Hugo.
Hugo washed one of our favorite restaurants out to sea. It picked up houses and moved them to a different location, several blocks back. It picked up boats and piled them at shore’s edge or dropped a few in the middle of roads. Because of its speed and size, it did damage far inland. The photos of the Carolinas in the wake of Hugo were incredibly grim.
Now Hurricane Laura has made landfall as a powerful category 4 hurricane. The national weather service said that the storm surge alone was unsurvivable. Laura has already done massive damage to Texas and Louisiana. Whatever happens due to Laura, there are many people this day, and in the days and months to follow who will need prayers and help. Many will have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and the death toll is still rising. Everyone has a lot on their hands. But I would urge you to please do what you can to help. Pray. Donate to agencies working to assist those impacted by the storm. Then pray some more.
I visited Aiken in South Carolina in the 90s go the High School there with 20 students on an exchange with our school in Powys Wales UK. South Carolina was a great place to visit and it will always have a special place in my heart. The teachers and families I met were so warm and welcoming. The landscape and coast were fascinating, particularly Charlotte and a place I think was called Edison Island. I hope you and those affected are coping with this storm. Having been on the edge of Hurricane Katrina when we were in Florida I can’t imagine the ferocity of the winds.
Valeriemeredith — thank you for your kind note. So wonderful to be part of an exchange group and get to spend time in another country. There is an Edisto Island which is about 26 miles from Charleston, SC. I am nowhere near this storm — I live in Ohio now — but I have many friends in the Carolinas and the memory of Hugo perhaps hits home how dangerous these can be.
It is the only thing I can do, but it is powerful — so yes, I will continue to pray for the victims of Hurricane Laura.