Saturday marks the 24th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo

By Ava Wilhite

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) -- Henry Hutchinson was one of the thousands of people asked to evacuate his house in Mount Pleasant Hurricane Hugo, a category 4 storm, headed for shore.

"It was very scary. I actually got a chance to see a tree fly past my parent's house - a big oak tree," Hutchinson said. "I thought it was a very scary time for all of us."

Hurricane Hugo hit land on September 21, 1989, with winds packing a punch and sounds many say are impossible to forget.

"It was horrific - it really was. We just sat there the rest of the night kind of comforting each other," said Mary Burkett, who lived on Isle of Palms at the time the hurricane hit.

Hurricane Hugo also changed many businesses in the Lowcountry.

"It was devastating for the Marina industry and the boating industry in general," said Robbie Freeman, managing partner of the City Marina. "Two out of the three largest marinas in Charleston were completely destroyed."

The devastation is still a clear memory for many who lived through Hurricane Hugo and as the population in Charleston continues to grow, emergency management teams use images from the storm to show people why they always need to be prepared.

"The population now a days, when you ask how many people were here during Hugo, there's less and less hands going up than there was two or three years after Hugo," said Cathy Haynes, chief of operations with Charleston County Emergency Management. {}