Historic Markers Across South Carolina

The Great Sea Island Storm

Marker ID: SCHM 7-32
Location: on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (State Highway S-7-45)
County: Beaufort
Coordinates: N 32° 23.295    W 080° 34.605
  32.388244    -80.576744
Style: Free Standing **


( Front )
On the night of August 27, 1893, a huge "tropical cyclone," the largest and most powerful storm to hit S.C. until Hurricane Hugo in 1989, made landfall just E of Savannah, Ga. With gusts as high as 120 mph and a storm surge as 12 ft., the worst of the storm struck the Sea Islands near Beaufort - St. Helena, Hilton Head, Daufuskie, Parris and smaller islands were devastated.
(Continued on other side)

(Reverse )
The storm killed more than 2,000 and left more than 70,000 destitute in coastal S.C. and Ga. Losses in lives and property were most catastrophic among blacks who were former slaves or their descendants. Clara Barton and the American Red Cross launched a massive relief effort, the first after a hurricane in U.S. history. Donations in 1893-94 fed, clothed, and sheltered thousands.

Erected 2008 by Beaufort County Historical Society.