Hurricane Andrew

AL DIAZ /Miami Herald

This week’s guests on The Florida Roundup with host Luis Hernandez:

  • Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
  • John Morales, Chief Meteorologist at NBC 6 Miami
  • Eliot Kleinberg, Palm Beach Post
  • Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
  • Lulu Ramadan, Palm Beach Post
  • Joey Flechas, Miami Herald

Tens of thousands of Haitians are living in the United States under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The status was provided after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 300,000 people.

Twenty-five years ago, in those harrowing days and weeks after Hurricane Andrew, people were trying to figure out how to cope with the destruction and trauma that the storm left behind. One of the ways they did that was by recording songs and sending them to TV meteorologist Bryan Norcross.

Warren Browne / Discovery YMCA

Twenty-five years ago this week, Hurricane Andrew destroyed the Homestead area- including many of its daycare centers.

That’s when Sue Loyzelle stepped in.

She was the director of the local YMCA at the time. After the storm, she was tasked by the city to establish an emergency daycare center at Harris Field--right by the Air Force base in Homestead.

WLRN spoke to Loyzelle at the opening of HistoryMiami's Hurricane Andrew: 25 Years Later exhibit in our Miami Stories audio recording booth. Below is what she told us in the booth: 

Twenty-five years ago, Hurricane Andrew hurtled through South Florida. The Category 5 storm uprooted trees, washed boats ashore and destroyed thousands of homes. It caused an estimated $25 billion in damage.

But the hurricane didn't scare Kendall resident Camille Grace, a 47-year-old who worked in sales for Cayman Airways and taught night school. She put her storm shutters up and filled her two bath tubs with water in case she lost access to the precious liquid during the storm. 

Marcia Brod

Lenny and Marcia Brod clearly remember one sleepless night 25 years ago. It was the eve of Hurricane Andrew.

“We were novices,” said Marcia Brod, 67. “It was a first time any kind of hurricane was coming through that was significant.”

In 1992, they were raising their two kids in a new home located on 128th Street and Southwest 107th Avenue in Miami. They had barely planned for the Category 5 storm hurling toward South Florida. 

HistoryMiami

25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew hit Miami, Lance O’Brian and his friend decided to wait out the storm in Miami Beach. Both surfers, they hoped to catch some good waves once the storm had passed.

HistoryMiami museum folklorist Vanessa Navarro spoke with O'Brian as part of a HistoryMiami research project called “What Makes Miami Miami?” The Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources, directed the project. Below is an edited excerpt of his interview:

NOAA

If a hurricane hit today, Isaias Torres and Leah Richter Torres would be together. They're married and just had a baby girl.

But 25 years ago, they were in completely different places.

Isaias, then a 13-year-old on his way into eighth grade, lived with his mom. During the storm, his parents, who had recently divorced, came together under one roof in Hialeah.

Leah, then 17, was on her way to study environmental engineering at the University of Florida. Her mom, dad and two little sisters got into the car to drive her to Gainesville the Friday before Andrew.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

Growing up in Miami, Nanci Mitchell has been through a lot of hurricanes.

“I remember in high school, sitting on the back porch in the middle of one of the hurricanes, just screened in, and it was just neat watching the storm,” she said. “It was no big deal.”

But Hurricane Andrew was a different story.

In a conversation with her sister-in-law, who lived out of state, Mitchell, then 47, confessed that Andrew “was unlike any other.”

“There was nothing like this hurricane,” she said. 

Miami Herald

Bart Mackleen was in a state of disbelief when he heard about the devastation of southern Miami-Dade, called Dade County back then, after Hurricane Andrew. 

"This [the hurricane] took everything away," he said. "You couldn't recognize where you were." 

Peter Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald

If you were living in South Florida back in August  1992 then you'll remember that fateful night when Hurricane Andrew arrived. You’ll also remember the voice of meteorologist Bryan Norcross, the voice that got so many South Floridians through that horrible storm.

HistoryMiami

It's been almost 25 years since Hurricane Andrew roared through South Florida and we're collecting your stories and memories about the storm. 

The Category 5 hurricane flattened South Dade, with the worst of the damage stretching south of Kendall to Florida City. It destroyed more than 28,000 homes, left more than 180,000 people homeless and caused more than $25 billion in damage.

John Kral / Miami Herald


Wikipedia

Think about how much life has changed since Hurricane Andrew, some 24 years ago. We likely had that wall phone in the kitchen with the really, really, really long cord. We got most of our news from television, radio or newspapers. The web was something Spiderman produced as he battled villains. 

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Admit it, some of you were watching every single update on Hurricane Danny. Your heart perhaps skipped a beat or two every time the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration kept boosting Danny all the way up to a category three.

As of this post, Monday afternoon, Danny had winds up to 30 mph and was expected to bring a few inches of rain to Puerto Rico and Haiti this week.

Palm Beach Post archives

It was a monster.

First, it hit the Caribbean. And once it touched down in the United States, its victims were mostly African-American. When the waters rose and the levee broke, there was nowhere to go. 

This isn't New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. This is Palm Beach County during the Great Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928. It was one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history, and yet it's been largely forgotten.

“Most Americans have no clue what happened,” says Palm Beach Post reporter and South Florida historian Eliot Kleinberg.

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