Overconfidence in Charleston

Natalie J. Copeland, Manager, Cancer Registry, Lexington Medical Center

July 31, 2009 

I was a senior at the Medical University of South Carolina when Hurricane Hugo blew into town.

I lived alone in an apartment in West Ashley and had never experienced anything like this but I knew I wasn't going to "ride it out" like some locals were planning to do.

I packed up everything in my apartment that was important - - or that seemed important at the time - - and spent the night with friends the night before the eye of the hurricane hit.

I didn't even think to call home to let my parents know where I was or that I was OK. What was I thinking?! Then sometime during the night, the telephone lines went out.

By 5 a.m. the next morning, I was on the road headed to my parent's home in Darlington. I arrived there around 7 a.m. to find my mom on the phone just frantic that she hadn't been able to reach me the night before or that morning.

She was a bit upset but more pleased that I was OK. In the end, it was a good thing that I didn't stay in the apartment because by the time I returned to Charleston weeks later, I found a tree had crashed through the roof of my apartment and had landed on my bed!

-- Natalie J. Copeland, Manager, Cancer Registry, Lexington Medical Center

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