hurricane wilma

Sammy Mack / WLRN via Giphy

There’s a plot of land behind the swimming pool at Deerfield Beach High where science teacher Kelly Caputo points to a cluster of trees out in a field.

“You can see five large Australian pines,” says Caputo. “And as beautiful as they are, they’re non-native — they take up a lot of space, water — and if we do get heavy winds, they’re probably going to create a lot of damage.”

Windows Lost To Wilma

Oct 26, 2015
Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

Before Hurricane Wilma hit Miami 10 years ago,  the tall buildings in Brickell had never had to contend with anything like the more than 100 mph winds the storm brought.

And while the buildings survived, their windows did not fare as well. Broken glass became one of lasting symbols of Wilma’s destruction.

The morning after Wilma made landfall, Santi Gabino left his apartment near Dadeland to go to work at the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell. On the way in, he thought about picking up a cup of coffee and a donut.

Mark Hedden / For WLRN

  Before Hurricane Wilma's winds swept across mainland South Florida, the storm's waters surged over the Florida Keys — the largest storm surge the islands had seen since Hurricane Betsy in 1965.

Miami Herald Archives

I grew up watching hurricanes from the 21st floor of a high-rise condominium in Miami Beach.

I’d sit by the window and watch minor storm surge crash up against Normandy Isle, palm trees bend back and forth and transformers explode.

Some of my family and friends lived in the same building, so we’d get together and run around in the dark hallways with our flashlights and hopefully miss a day or two of school.