Local official remembers Hurricane Hugo

Local official remembers Hurricane Hugo (Image 1)

By Brooke Katz

For many people of the Lowcountry, the memories of Hurricane Hugo still haunt them. Dan Moon, with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, was working at WTMA Talk Radio 20 years ago when the storm struck.

He says, “Sometimes it seems like it's been 100 years, and sometimes it seems like yesterday.”

Moon worked on the air, where information was constantly coming in, and he was constantly sending it out to try to keep people calm if they were evacuating.

“The interstate was stacked up with cars. They were backed up, bumper to bumper, hardly moving. And here's a hurricane, rushing down on the backside, coming down on them. And the weather's eroding as each minute passes by, and they were scared.”

Moon says he planned to work through the storm, but because the station was located on a marsh on the Ashley River, he was forced to evacuate. The very next day, he was back on the air, during the day telling people where they could go for essentials like ice, water and gas.

“But at night, there were curfews in effect. People couldn't go anywhere. In their homes, or sitting in front of their place of business with shotguns, trying to protect it from looters. But they had their radio with them at all times, so I would come on the air around seven each evening and stay on until whenever.”

Now, he says so much has changed. Many new people are in the area, who didn't experience Hugo's wrath, and don't understand why there are so many precautions taken when a storm threatens the East Coast.

“I keep trying to tell people, we're not fear mongering people when we ask you to be prepared, because we've been through it. I've been through it, and I can tell you right now, you better be ready for it.”

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