Remembering Hurricane Andrew, 30 years later

Hurricane Andrew made landfall in south Miami-Dade early on Aug. 24, 1992 as a category 5 hurricane. It ravaged Homestead and parts of Kendall, spawning tornadoes, tearing off roofs, blowing out windows and doors, and sending cars and trees flying.

At the end, more than 25,500 homes were destroyed (tens of thousands more were damaged) and more than 60 people were dead.

Few residents had been through a serious hurricane before or knew how to properly prepare. Metal shutters were few and far between. Hurricane impact glass wasn’t really a thing. Most people slapped plywood up over their windows and hoped for the best.

Everyone who was old enough to remember the storm has Hurricane Andrew memories. These are a few of yours. We’d love to hear more in the comments.

Alex Jimenez:

I was 15 years old and watched my dad cry for the first time in my life as he saw the only house he ever bought, imploded and flattened. Also the howling wind during the hurricane…will never forget that sound.

Daniel Paredes:

During the eye of the storm, our neighbor was walking around holding a door that he found in his backyard, asking if anyone’s door had been ripped off. No one knew whose door it was.

Dennis Miller:

Two of our nephews were on the Jamaica water polo team at the Junior Pan Am Games. They were on their way home to Jamaica when Air Jamaica canceled their flights and took all their jets out of town. [My wife] went to the airport to pick up our nephews, but when she found the whole team there, she got 3 taxis and brought all of them home to stay with us. We had something like 16 people here during the storm.

… Time must truly heal because the great majority of what I remember are the positive things that followed, like a friend from Orlando making the effort to drive down here the day after, somehow managing to get through all the blockades and seeing him walk down the street towards me with a chainsaw in one hand and a huge backpack full of ice on his back.

Katie Kiel:

“I was 11 years old; we stayed with a family friend during the storm and there were 8-10 of us kids piled into a couple of bedrooms. I remember laying in bed listening to a mixtape my best friend made me on my Walkman to drown out the howling wind. Over the course of the night, the adults moved us from the bedrooms to the family room, and ultimately into a laundry room, the roof flying off the rooms we had just been in, following each well-timed relocation.”