Beaufort County's brushes with hurricanes throughout history

April 21, 2013 

In recent years, Beaufort County has been spared the brunt of most 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 website. The site says the hurricane also hit the Sea Islands, then blew through the middle of the state. More than 1,000 people were killed, and thousands more were evacuated from the Sea Islands 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 Hugo headed straight for Beaufort County, most local residents returning after the evacuation found their 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. 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.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service