History of hurricanes in Beaufort County

May 26, 2009 

Beaufort County has been lucky, but isn’t immune

Beaufort County has a long history of being spared the brunt of the coast’s major storms. But those near hits are a recent trend; the county saw significant damage with storms that struck in 1893 and 1959.

Since 1900, 16 hurricanes have hit South Carolina, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Here’s a history of hurricanes in Beaufort County:

1893: A hurricane made landfall in Georgia just south of Beaufort, according to the Beaufort County library Web site. The site says the hurricane went on to hit the Sea Islands and blow through the middle of South Carolina. More than 1,000 people were killed and thousands were evacuated from the Sea Islands to the mainland by boat.

1959: Hurricane Gracie’s 145 mph-winds caused four local deaths, damaged 2,394 homes and caused $4 million in property losses.

1989: Hurricane Hugo hit 35 miles north of Charleston in McClellanville with winds up to 130 mph. Although Hurricane Hugo headed straight for Beaufort County, most local residents returning from evacuation found property unharmed.

1999: The area’s greatest exodus came as a result of Hurricane Floyd, which resulted in more than 2 million evacuees from Florida to the Virginia border. Beaufort County was spared, though Floyd killed at least 68 people, 41 of them in North Carolina.

2004: The last evacuation of any kind for Beaufort County was in 2004, when Gov. Mark Sanford called for a voluntary evacuation for Hurricane Charley.

Staff reports

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