Maps were developed from Climate Central's Coastal Risk Screening Tool.
The video below shows what Charleston could look like if a storm as rare and destructive as Hurricane Hugo were to return to Charleston today.
It visualizes what 7 feet of storm surge looks like if it were to arrive on top of high tide*
About the Video
- In 1989, Hurricane Hugo came into Charleston with a storm tide that was almost 7 feet above the average high tide line. If another storm like Hugo comes, it would arrive on a higher, rising sea.
- We developed this video using Google Earth Studio. Google Earth lets us visualize water levels in three dimensions.
In order to interpret any given coastal water level, it is essential to know how high the water level is in relation to a reference level known as a tidal datum.
- On Sept 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo recorded a maximum water level at the >NOAA tide station in Charleston, SC that was:
- 6.76 feet higher than Mean Higher-High Water (MHHW)
- Or 12.52 feet higher than Mean Lower-Low Water (MLLW)
- At Charleston, MHHW is 5.76 feet higher than MLLW, or MHHW = MLLW + 5.76 feet
- This video shows approximately 7 feet of water on top of MHHW (5.76 feet), or about 12.76 feet
Video locations as shown on Climate Central’s Coastal Risk Screening Tool set to 7 feet above the high tide line below:
Southern facing view across Spring St and Cannon St / US-17 towards Courtenay Dr, across to Comfort Inn
The Battery / White Point Garden / King St area
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Bird's-eye view moving NE along Concord St area from S Adgers Wharf up to Gillon St
E Battery and E Bay St area moving in NE direction, passing Atlantic St and Water St, approaching Carolina Yacht Club
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