CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Hurricane Hugo's 135 mph winds mauled Charleston 25 years ago Sunday, a defining moment for the city and the mayor who has served it longer than anyone else.
Joseph P. Riley Jr. was in his candlelit office in City Hall that night in 1989 as the storm body-slammed the city. In the days after, he worked tirelessly to bring in money and supplies and help get the Charleston on its feet.
Looking back during an AP interview in that same office a quarter-century later, the 71-year-old Riley calls it the most important time in his long service to the city. While the endless TV interviews made him a national figure in its aftermath, Riley used that notoriety to help restore the city he has served for decades.