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The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida • Page 11
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The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida • Page 11

Orlando, Florida
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Hurricane Hugo The Orlando Sentinel. Saturday, September 23, 1989 A-11 in i. i.m desolafi arrier islands four reveals a cruel By Michael Griffin OF THE SENTINEL STAFF f- -i'Z' I it, CHARLESTON, S.C. From a helicopter at 1,000 feet, the barrier islands west of downtown look as though Hurricane Hugo blasted them with a giant fire hose blowing houses hundreds of yards off their foundations and stacking expensive boats like cord wood. There are no signs of human life.

Only pelicans and sea gulls dance along the beaches. Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island are hit hardest, a direct blow by Hugo's 20-foot storm surge. On Sullivans a large rectangular foundation appears swept clean of all debris. Hugo had picked up the house and moved it almost intact 150 yards away. What was once a picture window is now a gaping hole revealing a room-full of furniture stacked to the ceiling.

A 30-foot luxury power boat juts through the closed doors of a condominium garage. The few homes still standing have roofs peeled back like the pop-off tops on cans of roasted peanuts. The earth around swimming pools has been washed away, instantly turning them into above-ground models. Ben White Bridge, the island's main link to the mainland is broken at mid-span. The center, which normally rotates 90 degrees to allow tall ships passage, is turned and tilted into the water.

Sightseers stand on both ends and wave at one another across the wreckage. Isle of Palms fared no better. Hundreds of boats sit in the middle of a forest stacked neatly side-by-side among the tall trees, The house next door has a broken picture window and some flooding. A condominium complex is oblit; erated as if someone had smashed it with sledgehammer, but the palm trees along its beach front stand unharmed. And suddenly you can see people.

A man stands in a front yard, scratches his head and stares at what used to be a home. Trees are scattered across the lot. The house is a pile of match-sticks. The main road is washed away and a bulldozer works to clear downed trees and power lines. A steady stream of storm runoff gushes into the ocean; taking with it front yards, side streets and portions of beach.

Fort Sumter stands between Sullivans and Folly. The former Yankee stronghold shows little outward damage. From the air the Atlantic playground of Hilton Head, its golf courses and rows of condominiums contrasting sharply with the havoc wrought by Hugo on neighboring islands, also looks untouched. As the helicopter moves inland the power of Hugo's punch is evident. A sail boat rests in the center of a Charleston street.

A crane barge sits in a parking lot. The flood-waters have transformed neighborhood streets into canals where residents paddle canoes around scuttled cars. The helicopter lands briefly in Charleston. A woman who evacuated her Sullivans Island home Thursday runs towards a passenger, her face pale with worry- "Have you been to Sully's? Sullivans Island? How bad is it?" Her face winces at the news. "I just hope I'm lucky.

That's all. I just pray I'm lucky." Relief catching up with Puerto Rico Designer jeans, water pumps among aid rolling into island COMPILED FROM WIRE REPORTS I I III -I GARY BOGDONSENTINEL Houses may have survived, but road along Folly Beach is suitable only for bulldozers. ricane appeared to have been more selective, hopping and skipping across the island. At the northernmost end of Folly Beach a tall, black lighthouse stands alone and untouched in the Atlantic, white capped waves breaking at its base. Along the beach, a home is destroyed, squashed like a sand castle that fell victim to a beach bully.

looking like toys put away by a fastidious child. But 1,000 feet north, sleek sailboats, box-shaped house boats, tiny fishing boats and luxury yachts litter the landscape. Hugo didn't play favorites on Sullivans Island and Isle of Palms as it destroyed nearly everything in its path. Farther south, though, on Folly Beach, the hur City in the pines is ail broken up Falling trees smashed a lot of Summerville's homes, autos -t i'- 1 By Jeff Kunerth OF THE SENTINEL STAFF Hugo had gone by. National Guardsmen patrolled the town's May-berry-like Main Street to protect the stores from vandals and looters.

The hurricane smashed windows, tore off awnings and blew apart signs. If Hugo hit Charleston like a fist in the face, it slapped Summerville hard on the side of the head. The town's majestic pines came crashing down on homes, stores, cars and buses. A yellow school bus parked outside the Dorchester Sheriffs Department was obliterated by broken, splintered trees. Nearby, a youth services van was creased down the middle by a fallen pine.

Dave Estes, 64, sat in the dark inside his house working on a case of beer and watching the wind bend the trees to the ground. Friday next morning he awoke to find his car trapped inside the garage by a tree that had fallen across the driveway. On the other end of the house, another huge pine landed neatly between his property and his neighbor's land, just missing a parked car. "It fell perfect right between my house and hers. Couldn't get a woodsman to cut it better," Estes said.

Scott and Debra Henson's small house was almost engulfed in fallen trees. Clinging together with friends inside the house, the Hensons waited for one of the trees to break through the roof. Everything was coming down on the house and we SUMMERVILLE, S.C. Hurricane Hugo ended a 30-year argument between Maynard Harris and his wife, Elise. Elise, a lover of trees, planted four long-leaf pines in the front yard of the couple's small brick home.

Maynard, a hater of pine straw, pine cones, pine sap, and squirrels, wanted to cut them down. "They're a nuisance. I wanted to cut them down last spring," Harris, 68, said. "But the town had this ordinance that says you can't cut a pine tree." Thursday night, as Maynard and Elise Harris huddled inside their darkened house and listened to the wind howl and the trees creak, Hugo knocked down the disputed trees, sending one crashing onto the corner of the house. "I feel terrible, terrible, terrible," Elise Harris, 72, said.

"It hurts my heart to see my trees like that. I do love those trees." About 20 miles north of Charleston, Summerville is a community that takes pride in its trees and flowers, calling itself the "Flower Town In The Pines: Garden Spot Of The South." Once a picturesque little town of 10,000 people, many of them military retirees, Summerville was littered with broken trees and shattered glass in after RED HUBERSENTINEL Elise Harris cooks on bottled gas grill Friday, near one of her beloved pines now fit for firewood. were sitting in the middle of it," Debra, 35, said. "I was thinking about God having his angels wrapped around us and protecting us." Summerville, city of pines, is without electricity and water and many of its trees. Its gasoline stations and restaurants are closed.

Power lines are down, streets are blocked by fallen tree limbs. But its people have survived the first storm the town has ever seen, and the trees can be replaced. "I'll be planting new trees," said Elise Harris, glancing at her husband. "But not pines." Maynard Harris wrapped his arms around his wife and said, "You can plant pines. But not so close to the house." SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Disaster aid began pouring into Puerto Rico on Friday, five days after Hurricane Hugo's 140 mph winds blasted the eastern half of the island causing an estimated $500 million in damage.

The first federal aid, authorized Thursday by President Bush, began arriving at the international airport in San Juan. Bush declared 16 Puerto Rican towns disaster areas. Private aid also appeared as Andrew Stein, president of the New York City Council, flew into San Juan with 150,00 pounds of supplies on a Trump Shuttle jet, courtesy of developer Donald Trump. Along with much needed water. Stein brought 10,000 pairs of trousers donated by designer Calvin Klein.

But five water pumps from the United States were, perhaps the most welcome arrival in the capital and surrounding areas which have been without running water since Sunday. All five pumps at Carraizo Dam, the city's main water supply, were flooded in the storm and must be replaced. Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon said Friday that two new pumps would be installed at the Carraizo station by today, and all five would be in place by Monday. With 80 percent of electricity restored in the capital, lack of water remained the most critical problem despite the deployment of water trucks.

Hernandez Colon told a news conference that 10,600 people were left homeless by Hurricane Hugo. He said 176 shelters had been set up. At least six deaths were reported on the island. In St. Croix, Virgin Islands, military police sent on Bush's orders restored calm to the streets after four days of looting and violence in the aftermath of the hurricane, which struck late Sunday.

Even a 'cane knows better than to mess with a Bentley low pilots drove in Thursday to save your planes before Hugo's onslaught. You must have been in a heck of a hurry you forgot to lock your Bentley. But, again, don't worry about vandals, all the roads to the executive airport located several miles south of Charleston were blocked Friday by downed trees. The only way to get in and out of the airport was by helicopter. And you can't carry away a Bentley in a helicopter.

MICHAEL GRIFFIN and one car which may or may not have been a Toyota isn't much to look at either. The tarmac is littered with the crushed remains of six airplanes, dozens of cars, trucks, motorcycles, soft-drink machines, hangar doors and crates of new washers and dryers most likely the remains of a Hugo-spawned tornado. But there your Bentley sits, relatively untouched right in the middle of the debris. No one is sure, but it looks like you and your fel CHARLESTON, S.C. Dear owner: If you were worried about that brand-new Rolls-Royce Bentley you parked next to the hangar at Charleston Executive Airport, relax.

Your $100,000 car, the silver-gray one with the leather interior and the ever-so-thick carpets, got a nick in the paint about the size of a quarter. But all your buddies' cars inside the hangar have some problems. The steel beams supporting the roof collapsed. That midnight-blue Mercedes is squashed like a bug, the Jeep Cherokee is as flat as a pancake With Hugo gone, Bob Sheets is focusing on future storms By Maya Bell SENTINEL MIAMI BUREAU vC MisBoston CtertestQCape Hatteras nered meteorologist, who has become something of a national celebrity after two hurricane seasons at the helm of the center, is not taking the credit for himself. He points out that the warn-team effort that Sheets Guif of yV Mexico I Cape Canaveral Miaml-- ing process is a CHARLESTON.

S.C. Hurricane Hugo was responsible for at least 11 deaths in South Carolina. In North Carolina, a 6-month-old baby was killed when a tree fell on a house. Hugo weakened Friday and went inland to the north. Surge could level Brevard's coast By David C.

Scruggs OF THE SENTINEL STAFF MELBOURNE Had Hugo hit East Central Florida local emergency officials might be untangling more than nerves today. "We were staring it in the face, operationally, Monday and Tuesday," said Tony Carper, operations supervisor for Brevard County Emergency Management. Carper said the storm's 17-foot tidal surge, wind-swept waves and a high tide together would have piled a 35-foot wall of water against the Brevard coastline, which is just eight feet above sea level. The effects, as seen in Charleston, S.C, would have been incredible, he said. "You know how many metric tons we're talking about with a wall of water like that? And moving at 20 not going to put any bets that any building built to any code could withstand a force like that," Carper said.

Such a surge would level the buildings along Brevard's coastline, he said. Volusia County Sheriff's Sgt. Kathy Parks, also a county emergency management planner, mulled the impact on Volusia's landmark beach strip. "Just take any of those condos, The Oceans, Tex Plaza, anything's possible when you have 135-mph plus winds, depending on how long it bangs away at them," Parks said. "You could have foundations of the hotels exposed, our ramps would wash ouj and disappear, the roads could buckle." CUBAVV A Atlantic Ocean 25' CORAL GABLES A weary Bob Sheets admits he would rather be visiting Disney World with his two grown daughters today, but he will be filming the ravaged South Carolina coastline instead.

Never mind that he has worked lff-hour days, logged 600 interviews and had the weight of the Eastern Seaboard on his shoulders for the past week. The director of the National Hurricane Center, who seemed to earn every penny of his $71,800 salary this week, doesn't want to miss the opportunity to share the horrors of Hugo with Florida. "We are going to take the experience of Hugo and bring it to Marco Island, the Keys, Tampa, Daytona Beach, all over and show people what happens when a storm of this magnitude comes along," Sheets said. "We've learned that if people can see for themselves what a hurricane can do they'll listen when we say they should evacuate." Sheets, 52, credited widespread evacuation of the Carolina coastline and fragile barrier islands for the relatively low death toll reported in the area. Compare the casualties to property damage expected to exceed $1 billion and Sheets said it shows the hurricane warning process worked.

"It worked well," he said. "When the orders went up everybody evaluated." But the modest and mild-man- HArffTT-xA VIRGIN ISLANDS 97 of the buildings damaged or destroyed on St. Croix. Looters have ransacked stores. 1,200 U.S.

military police sent to restore order. JAMAICA involves his 34-member staff, public officials and the media. "We can write the best forecasts in the world but if we can't get them to the public it doesn't do much good," Sheets said. That is why the hurricane center, which has an annual operating budget of $1.8 million, turns into a television production center when a hurricane threatens. As a result.

Sheets spends most of his time in front of the cameras, but he manages to keep abreast of every change in the hurricane, of every piece of new data that might help him make a decision down the road. He proved that point earlier this week when he went live on national television for an afternoon update without the latest advisory in hand. Without missing a beat, he told viewers exactly where Hugo was. "He's got a great capacity for looking at the big picture," said Mark Zimmer, chief of the center's satellite division. "He delegates a '4 but he knows every thing that's going on." DOMINICAN REPUBLIC -u.

20 Caribbean Sea PUERTO RICO 6 dead. More than 50,000 homeless. Heavy property damage. ANTIGUA 2 dead. Widespread wind, rain damage.

15 GUADELOUPE 5 dead, 84 injured. More than 15,000 homeless. MONTSERRAT 10 dead. Nearly all 12,000 residents left homeless. 55 80 75 7of" 60c 65c SENTINEL GRAPHIC.

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