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20 years later: MUSC remembers Hugo

The Waring Historical Library and MUSC University Archives announce the opening of a new online exhibit: 20 Years Later: MUSC Remembers Hugo ( The exhibit opens Sept. 21 and tells the story of this period through archival records, photographic images, and oral history interviews. To commemorate this anniversary, MUSC University Archives staff, a subunit of the Waring Historical Library, created an exhibit which documents the bravery of hospital, faculty, and maintenance staff as they protected people and facilities before, during, and after the storm.
An oak tree blocks Ashley Avenue and the entrance to MUSC via the Horseshoe.

Drawing heavily from these collected interviews, as well as the records of the MUSC University Archives and photographs contributed by MUSC staff, this exhibit documents MUSC’s collective response to the storm. The exhibit details the difficulties facing staff throughout the storm and chronicles their commitment to their patients, students, families and colleagues on that infamous night.

Epitome of ‘a dark and stormy night’
On Sept. 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo, a Category IV storm, battered the Charleston area with hours of heavy rains and 140 mile-per-hour winds. Hundreds of boats were swept onto land, roofs blew off buildings, and acres of trees lay pulverized. On the islands north of the city and in the village of McClellanville, houses disappeared, broken into pieces and tossed like discarded toys.
The storm tested MUSC staffs’ resilience as they monitored patients, even as winds howled outside the windows and electricity faltered. Faculty assisted students and families, whose homes were threatened by rising tides and winds. Maintenance staff ensured building safety. These actions during this critical time saved many lives, even as the storm devastated the campus, city and state.
“We hope that online visitors will come away with an appreciation of the difficulties that faced staff and their commitment to their patients, students, families, and colleagues,” said Brooke Fox, university archivist.
For more information about the web exhibit, contact Fox at To view other web exhibits presented by the Waring Historical Library, visit

Friday, Sept. 18, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.