Photos of Hurricane Hugo
Hurricane Hugo came slamming into North Carolina on September 22, 1989. We live 200 miles inland, near Charlotte. Most of our weathermen were down at the coast at Charleston, which is where Hugo came ashore. Hugo was NOT supposed to visit us but he surprised everyone by dropping in to say "hello".
About 1:20 am my son called me from California and told me to go downstairs because Hugo was heading straight for Charlotte. I brushed it off because hurricanes never come this far inland. About thirty minutes later it got very dark and I heard the wind howling. I looked outside and the trees were swaying dangerously. When the rain started it was coming sideways. Suddenly there was a sound like an explosion and the whole sky lit up. All the lights went out. My daughter was sleeping soundly so I shook her awake. We grabbed our cat and dog, ran downstairs and spent the rest of the night in total darkness, huddled in the basement, listening to trees crashing; power lines crackling; winds howling, and hail beating on the windows.
The next morning, when we ventured outside, we realised just how bad it had been. My plum tree was uprooted; a huge oak lay across the road; a tree had fallen through the kitchen roof in a friend's house; a tall pine tree next door was doing a balancing act on the power lines, and half the houses in our area had lost tiles from their roofs.
We walked around with the camera and took the following photos. The total destruction at the Dallas Courthouse almost broke our hearts. The huge magnolia tree, which had stood proudly in front of the Courthouse for years, was split right down the middle. The grounds, which are always so beautifully landscaped, were littered with smaller trees which had been thrown around like toothpicks. This was the first time we had experienced a hurricane and it was very scary.
Although uprooted trees were blocking most of the roads, we managed to find our way to the Waffle House. They had a generator and were supplying fresh brewed coffee to all who could make it there. Coffee never tasted so good.
I guess it takes something like a disaster to happen to make us realize just how lucky we really are. Our power was off for five days during which time we found many different ways we found to pass time, without all the conveniences we were used to. Scrabble by candlelight is actually a lot of fun. My daughter's friend had a grill but no water, we had water but no way to cook, so we ate at their house and bathed at ours. Everyone was sharing what they had and it turned out to be a rather unique experience.
Ten years have passed since Hugo's visit. This year, on August 29th, Hurricane Dennis came awfully close to following in Hugo's footsteps. We are very thankful that he turned away at the last minute. I must confess I said a few prayers while I was watching the antics of Dennis. I really do not want to experience another hurricane. One was quite enough thanks!
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