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Couple’s Honeymoon Offered Everything But Smooth Sailing With PM-Hugo, Bjt

September 26, 1989

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ Christina and James Kimball scrapped their honeymoon dream in Puerto Rico last week as Hurricane Hugo bore down on the island. Instead, they went to a beachfront condominium. In South Carolina.

The condominium was on the Isle of Palms off Charleston - the bulls-eye of Hugo’s first strike on the U.S. mainland.

″I’m just going to remember it as basically a nightmare,″ the bride said Monday after the couple returned to Springfield.

Chased from the resort island by evacuation orders, the couple rode out the storm Thursday night in the bathtub of a Charleston motel. They then fled the devastated city, driving home non-stop to arrive Sunday.

The condo, 100 feet from the beach, was flooded by Hugo’s 17-foot surge. The Kimballs managed to get to Charleston in time to escape harm, and as the wind picked up, huddled in the motel room, listening as the tar and gravel roof began tearing off.

″You couldn’t open your door because of the wind pressure,″ said Mrs. Kimball. ″Then, our window smashed open and we ran into the bathroom with all our stuff. Jamie kept running back into the room to get everything, but we finally sat in the bathtub with a candle and the champagne for about an hour.

″All you could hear was glass breaking and windows going,″ said the bride, a package store clerk and community college student. ″Then, the eye of the storm came over about 1:30 a.m., and everyone came out of their rooms.″

Their car was one of the two left undamaged in the motel parking lot.

The Kimballs never considered a U.S. landfall for Hugo in making their plans.

Said the bride: ″We thought this would be a cheap honeymoon.″

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