WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Decades later, many residents of the Carolinas still recall Hugo as one of the worst natural disasters they can remember.
Thirty years after the storm, the National Weather Service shared old photos, radar images and stories from the catastrophic storm.
Hurricane Hugo made landfall at midnight on September 22, 1989 near Sullivans Island as a category 4 hurricane, according to the National Weather Service.
Hurricane Hugo was responsible for at least 86 fatalities and caused $10 billion in damage. Brunswick and New Hanover County beach towns both saw impacts.
At least 25 beachfront homes were damaged in Holden and Yaupon Beaches, and in some places 50 feet of beach was lost. Dunes previously seven to eight feet tall were wiped out. The end of Holden Beach fishing pier was destroyed, and the Yaupon Pier was destroyed. Initial estimates put the damage in Holden Beach at $30 million and Ocean Isle Beach at $15 million.
A 200-foot section of the Long Beach Pier collapsed around 1 a.m. on September 22. The pier had recently been renovated and had been open only for five weeks before Hugo. Mayor Johnny Vereen was quoted in the Wilmington Star-News saying “We have lost 60 percent of our dune area. We have absolutely no protection.”
The report from the NWS says a 50 foot section in the middle of Carolina Beach’s fishing pier was destroyed by large waves and sand was washed onto roads at the north end of Carolina Beach.
Barnacle Bill’s pier in Surf City lost a 15 foot section due to high waves, and the Surf City Pier had damage at the end.