On Sept. 21, 1990, the city held “The Observance of the Anniversary of Hurricane Hugo.” Although hurricane recovery work was still going on all over the Charleston area, the city itself had experienced great strides in repairing and restoring its old buildings.
After the hurricane the news media had declared that Charleston lay in ruins. But quite incredibly a year later, with insurance companies paying claims to property owners, houses now had new roofs and paint.
Residents had been through a very hard year, but at this point Charleston had never looked better.
For the one-year anniversary the city held a candlelight ceremony late in the afternoon. The weather had been beautiful, and Charlestonians, many with straw hats to ward off the sun, congregated at the intersection of Broad and Meeting streets in front of City Hall.
The Trident Community Band played while programs and candles were distributed. Rabbi William A. Rosenthall from the Beth Elohim congregation gave the invocation.
Among the speakers were Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., Gov. Carroll A. Campbell Jr., Rep. Arthur Ravenel Jr. and Sen. Ernest F. Hollings. When the speeches were finished the candle-lighting ceremony began.
Out of nowhere a powerful wind and rain storm came gusting down Broad Street. People took off and ran through Washington Park and in every other direction to escape the squall.
It was one year to the day, but the memory of the terrible storm was still fresh in everyone’s mind.
John Galt Way