Sep 22, 2014

What I remember from Hurricane Hugo

Hurricane Hugo that was a big one!  Do you remember how it affected you and what you were doing?  This will be a story post about one of the worst storms I've ever lived to see.

 That was 25 years ago today.  A lot has changed since then. Let's see what do I personally remember?

 I no longer live in that house which is basically a larger version of Hibiscus House.  My daughter lives there now so it is still standing. My oldest daughter was very young and my youngest daughter was just an infant.  They were sleeping in the living room.  My husband who is now deceased, was sleeping in the recliner. We had to stay downstairs of course because you couldn't risk being upstairs.  I thought, "How on earth can he sleep through this storm?"  Every window in the entire house was shaking and I thought they would surely break at any minute. He amazed me and basically slept through Hugo.  My mother and father in law stayed at their home next door.  A beautiful historical white plantation house.  I worried about them but they couldn't be moved and actually how did I know if our home would survive?  My parents and other family were a few miles away.   Which at the time seemed like across country.  Did I worry?  Yes, but then you pray.

I remember watching out of the kitchen window to see if the strawberry shed would blow over.  I remember the howling wind.  The torrential rain.

Do you want to know what I was doing during this storm?  Mopping!  Yes mopping.  We have a sunken living room so close to ground level.  Hard wood floors don't like water.  The worst part was that the storm's worst force was coming from the south side and the kitchen was just flooded.  I declare it seemed like a foot of water.  The ceiling over the bay window was leaking well actually water was pouring in and around the windows too.  Can you imagine me mad as a setting hen mopping, getting buckets to scoop up water, trying to open that door to pour it out...nope that didn't work couldn't get the door open.  I was too mad to think straight.  How could he (Randy) sleep through this?
When it got worse and was now coming in from the back living room side as well as the south side I had to wake him up....Randy get up!  Help me get the water out of the house!  We don't want the baby to drown do we?!  I'm laughing now, but it wasn't so funny then.  I believe little Carly was trying to help me by then.  Baby Catie still sleeping.  That girl still can sleep through anything!

I now know that is what kept me from becoming terrified, the mopping kept me busy and angry...thank you God. That is what kept me sane. When you are angry and busy, you just don't have the time to be afraid.

The aftermath was not pretty.  Trees down everywhere!  Things in your yard and you don't know where they came from or whose they were.  Lots of twisted tin.  Lots of water standing.  Animals without homes.  No electricity!  Talk about pioneer days..I was glad we had a wood burning fireplace.  We had portable battery powered radios and I had a miniature TV with a battery pack.  What's this nothing on TV how could that be..I'm laughing.  It really didn't dawn on me they wouldn't be on the air.

It was probably a good thing Randy slept because he had lots to do to clean up the surrounding area.

We had family in Charleston and their home was damaged and lots of others around destroyed.  They stayed in the hallway and everything around them fell. God protected them although we gave them a tongue lashing about staying there in the eye of the storm.

The stories all family members would tell after we were able to see and talk to them.  That was one of the worst things to wonder how family was and what had happened to them in the storm.  No cell phones,  no way to travel you just had to wait until not only your road was cleared but the roads leading to where you so desperately wanted to go.

I'm thankful we had stored up water and supplies like canned food, and things we could eat.  The thing that I remember missing the most was ICE...yes no ice.  Trees down in the highways all around it would take days to get back to normal.  I remember the frustration of having to wait for things..I wanted to take a chainsaw and start clearing the road.  The men wouldn't let me of course.

The best thing about it was that we had a good close knit time with the family.  I played with Carly, we rode bikes a lot, read stories to the baby.  When things got back to normal and the electricity was cut back on the children wanted to just leave it off for awhile!  So we did.


  1. It must have been scary! I would agree that no knowing how friends and family were would be the worst. We get tornadoes here, just out of the blue with only seconds of warning so we try to keep essentials in the basement to keep us going for several days just in case. We have been lucky so far that power outages are the only thing that has affected us. When I was a child an F4 tornado took out a large portion of our subdivision. I remember the police, people we didn't know flooding into the house to get to the basement, rain and wind. Our elementary school friend was killed in it and complete destruction just down the hill from us. A silo went through our across the street neighbor's house but no one was hurt. To this day when I am really stressed, a tornado appears in my dreams.

    1. Oh Kathy! That was one storm that you won't ever forget. Things like that really stay with you. We were very lucky with that hurricane. We all said it was such a blessing it came at night because a lot more lives would have been lost in the daytime. You never forget the loss of a school friend either. We had several. Good to hear from you!