Throughout the course of reporting the Remembering Andrew series we’ve been asking a few of the same questions about Hurricane Andrew to virtually everybody we interview. Things like:
When did you know it was time to take Andrew seriously?
When did you know Andrew had truly arrived?
But there’s one question in particular, that seems to trip people up:
What did you see the moment you stepped out of your door after Andrew?
Here is how some WLRN Miami Herald News listeners answered that question:
“I would say it’s like a Hurricane Andrew. Things where they are not supposed to be. Roofs , trees, some cars. To describe it then, was almost impossible, to describe it now–it’s legendary.” –Lou Holtzman
“It was an animal that was outside that wanted in.” –Geoffrey Tomb
“It was just like living on the inside of a tornado for five hours.” –Ed McClean
“You could say Andrew was a horrible hurricane. It was the most devastating hurricane to hit South Florida yet, but Andrew was more than that. It was an opportunity to recognize the effect of what Mother Nature has in store for us when she wants to dish it out. But also an opportunity to recognize our abilities and willingness to use our humanity to meet that.” — Felix Martinez
“It was a monster.” –Jenny Bethencourt
“War disaster zone. Yeah, it looked like a war zone.” –Jodi Ziskin
“Cataclysmic. Like a bomb had dropped on Homestead.” –Geoffrey Philp
“I guess the best description I can give it, it’s like God came through with a 25 mile wide monster weed whacker and just leveled a path through South Dade County.” –Ron Magill
“When Hurricane Andrew hit, I was working in the foreign office. Living in London, Britain, dealing with the Gulf War. A lot of my career has been dealing with what man has done to other men in the pursuit of either political objectives or destruction. After coming to Florida, and learning about Andrew, I’m very cognizant of the impact that nature can have on our environment and of man. There’s a particular poem by T.S. Eliot called ‘The Waste Land’ where he talks about devastation. Well Hurricane Andrew feels to me a little like that.” — Kevin McGurgan, British Consul-General in Miami
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water.
-T.S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"