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How Hurricane Hugo Shaped the Life of an Emergency Managment Director

By Victoria Hansen

449fab3e-d2b3-4e77-b9dc-61f26729e5bdThere's a brief lull in the heavy rain that's hit Charleston as Hurricane Dorian lingers off the coast. The city's Emergency Managment Director Shannon Scaff takes a deep breath. He's about to interview live, nationally with The Weather Channel. He's also relieved. The storm isn't over yet and already he knows it could have been much worse. "We got lucky with the tides," he tells the reporter. "The storm surge wasn’t as bad as what was forecasted originally." Orginally, a more than 10 foot tide was expected to swamp the city's battery wall, higher than both Hurricanes Matthew and Irma. That...

Chester Residents Call Out Gun Violence, Culture of Silence

By Scott Morgan

Chester Residents Call Out Gun Violence, Culture of SilenceThe City of Chester is in crisis. Shootings are on the rise and so are shooting-related deaths. So far this year, police have taken more than 130 calls about shots being fired. That’s 20 more than all of last year. Chester residents marched for 'Freedom From Gun Violence' on Sept. 14, a first public effort to stop escalating street and gang shootings in the city. Credit Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio Since April there have been almost a dozen confirmed shootings, including the recent deaths of 36-year-old Andrew Johnson and the drive-by killing of 14-year-old Jada Jones. Thirty...

When Hurricane Hugo Rocked the Piedmont

By Scott Morgan

fe5a130d-af83-40cd-8dd1-1efdc5a41354On Sept. 21, 1989, a lot of people in the Piedmont went to bed before the storm arrived. They knew it was on its way; some even knew about it hitting the coast. But hurricane or no hurricane, hurricanes don’t barrel across states and then make their way north, so most people didn’t think much of what was to come. Most of those same people woke to a rude surprise. Hurricane Hugo did, in fact, shove its way across the state – along I-26 and then up I-77, like it was on a road trip to Rock Hill. By the time Hugo made its way out of South Carolina, the state had suffered $6 billion in damages...

South Carolina state agencies partner to recognize 30 years since Hurricane Hugo

Hurricane HugoCOLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) today announced a partnership to recognize 30 years since Hurricane Hugo impacted the state. On-air, SCETV plans to commemorate the landfall of Hurricane Hugo on both its television and radio platforms. On Thursday, September 19 at 7 p.m., the network will broadcast a special Hurricane Hugo edition of “Palmetto Scene,” focusing on the storm’s effect on industry, as well as challenges the coastal areas of the state still face as a result of Hugo’s impact. On radio, S.C...

Tropical Storm Humberto is No Longer a Threat to South Carolina

By Jeff Huffman

map of earth with tropical storms in the atlantic oceanThe season’s eighth named tropical storm was classified by the National Hurricane Center late Friday night, but it is no longer a direct threat to South Carolina. Hurricane hunters then found that the tropical storm had strengthened Saturday morning, and it now has winds up to 50 mph. Strong upper-level winds from the southwest were limiting the tropical storm’s ability to become better organized. However, those winds are expected to weaken Sunday when forecasters say Tropical Storm Humberto will be poised for intensification. Tropical Storm Humberto did not have a well-defined center of...

Tropical Depression Nine Forms; Likely to Stay Offshore

By Jeff Huffman

forecast map of tropical stormUpdate Friday 5 pm: The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Depression Nine has formed, located 240 miles east-southeast of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. A center of circulation was noted on the eastern side of a broad area of low pressure, based on satellite and hurricane hunter data. The more eastward placement of that center prompted forecasters to make a significant adjustment to the forecast track for the soon-to-be tropical storm, which is now more than 100 miles from the coast of South Carolina early next week. The developing tropical storm near the Bahamas is likely to stay...

Complacency Isn't the Only Reason People Don't Evacuate for Hurricanes

By Scott Morgan

stormy ocean wavesWhy don’t people leave when a hurricane hits where they live? And how do news outlets and emergency officials and even governors make people understand that they should? Those are two questions that vex all of the above-mentioned groups during a storm. In the first week of September, Hurricane Dorian menaced the South Carolina coast for days and triggered evacuation orders for every beach community in the state. And yet, more people than not in some evacuation zones just didn’t evacuate. On the evening the storm hit Horry County, Sept. 5, Emergency Management Coordinator Randy Webster...

Spartanburg Songwriter Made His Mark in Nashville with Country Music

By Tut Underwood

David Ball (second from left) and his band.Country music has made and broken careers for close to a century now. David Ball of Spartanburg is one of the survivors, enjoying a long career in the field. In high school he joined the legendary acoustic trio Uncle Walt's Band, playing a blend of bluegrass, blues, swing and folk, "and then that of course led me into Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family," he recalls of his introduction to country. The group moved to Texas, where it became the rage in clubs across the state, and where its unique blend of sounds eventually came to be called Americana, with Uncle Walt's Band being named one of its...

Tropical Disturbance Likely to Develop Near Florida This Weekend

By Ray Hawthorne

1f74882e-b652-4055-b0e8-6a009d01f9d5UPDATE THURSDAY 5 PM: The National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on what they call Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine (or “PTC Nine”). This nomenclature is used when a system is likely to produce tropical storm conditions near land - in this case, the Bahamas - but has yet to be officially classified as a tropical storm. PTC Nine was located 310 miles south of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, per the 5 pm update. The disturbance was moving northwest at 8 mph. A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the northwestern Bahamas, including Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand...

Columbia Native's Country Music Dream Lasts a Lifetime

By Tut Underwood

Bemo Prince, at the mic, with some of his band members.Country music finds fans in a variety of ways, most often by either hearing the music on the radio or seeing country artists play live. That's the way Bemo Prince of Columbia became a country music fan. "My daddy took me to hear...Snuffy Jenkins and the Hired Hands, and I was hooked." Prince lists Merle Haggard, George Jones and Willie Nelson among the greats of country music and his personal favorites as well. But one name stands above them all: Hank Williams. He saw the biographical movie "Your Cheatin' Heart" when he was 15 , and that turned his fandom into a desire to be a country...

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