Aftermath of Hurricane Hugo
Category 4 Storm
Landfall Sept. 22, 1989 on Sullivan’s Island, SC

Video courtesy of SCETV.

Why Now?

Three decades ago, Hurricane Hugo’s onslaught on unprepared Lowcountry communities caused such widespread devastation that it was declared the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Hurricane Hugo’s 20-foot storm surge still holds the record as the highest ever recorded on the East Coast.

Today, our region remains poorly prepared for the acute challenges of severe weather events like Hurricane Hugo, and lacks sufficient adaptations for chronic climate change-related stressors. This local reality has been explored by various Lowcountry leaders in a compendium of multimedia resources on SCETV’s Sea Change page, a treasury of regional knowledge that illuminates pressing concerns.

There is no better time than now to collaboratively leverage a big data approach and synergistic technological tools to innovatively and inclusively build durable Lowcountry communities.

In April 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a $1.75B proposal to construct a perimeter storm surge wall at elevation 12’ NAVD88 around the Charleston peninsula. These interactive images allow visualization of the proposed barrier.

Images approximate barrier height and location with reference to NAVD88 and Charleston County 2017 LiDAR data, but are not associated with or developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Current information on the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study is available on the USACE website. Photos courtesy of Jared Bramblett.

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