Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Andrew made landfall just south of Miami, Florida, around 5 AM on August 24th, 1992. (And yes, that is a piece of plywood stuck through a palm tree. One of the reasons Florida doesn't like plywood as window covers is that the plywood isn't strong enough to do much good. Click the image for a better view.)

I wasn't living in Florida then, but I moved to the Miami area shortly after the storm went through. It was years before the mess was cleaned up, and longer till everyone had their lives back together. A lot of people were ripped off by unscrupulous "contractors," and even getting the insurance companies to recognize everything that was wrong with a house was sometimes a struggle for folks.

Are you prepared for the next catastrophe to come your way, or will you be screaming for FEMA to rescue you? (Three days - minimum - you can expect to be on your own.)


wickedmess said...

Three days MINIMUM! And you're crazy if you're only prepared for three days. The 2004 hurricane season did a number on us here in Winter Haven: Charley, Frances and Jeanne; 3 direct hits in 5 weeks. After Charley hit there were so many large trees down we couldn't in or out of the neighborhood for 3 or 4 days but were well supplied and there was no electricity for miles so why bother to leave? Shelter in place. Electricity was restored the 5th day.

By the time Jeanne hit we were either old pros or numb, I'm not sure which! Most of the trees and power poles that were going to come down were down for the count at that point and it only took them 3 days to restore electricity.

I didn't see any FEMA personnel but then I wasn't out looking for them. Marine One flew overhead, does that count? I waved and I assume the president waved back.


wickedmess said...

Oh, and my clearest memory of when Andrew hit was how beautiful the weather was here. Of course no one really knew which direction that monster was going to go so everyone was off and everything was closed around here. We stayed with some friends, pooling our resources and expecting the worst. While Andrew was devastating South Florida the weather here was just beautiful with the most clear and brilliant blue sky.

I'll always remember the way the sky looked that day just as I'll always remember the way the way it looked on the morning of 9/11.

It's strange the way our minds work.

Zendo Deb said...

Jeanne was the 4th storm to give us fits in the marina I was in at the time. It was bearing straight for us longer than it was supposed to (it did turn north, but not before it broke fuel dock away from its moorings and did some damage to a couple of boats.)

I'ld had enough. I had my car ready to go, and when it looked bad I bugged out. Spent the night in Georgia - sleeping in my SUV. Had breakfast, turned around and drove home.

2004 my nerves were fried. By the time Ivan came along - he went up the Gulf coast, but not as close as we feared- I didn't care if we got hit or not. I wanted the damn year to be over. And when Jeanne threaten I was a basket case.

seph said...

I was in Andrew. It was a nightmare of a storm. I was living in Leisure City, which is practically Homestead, and also Ground Zero for the storm. I have pictures of the eyes and of the damages around us. They claim that the storm had 175mph winds, which is not true. They were actually about 250mph, the wind meter at Homestead air force base has a wind speed limit of 220mph. The meter actually failed and exploded. I saw 8 inch long 2 inch thick I beams bent completely around and tangled. A 40,000 pound concrete T was ripped out of a building and thrown over a football field away. In my opinion, Andrew is and still is the most dangerous storm to ever hit Florida. Katrina was nothing compared to this, the only reason Katrina was bad, was because of the Levy's breaking, and flooding. If you would like to talk more about my personal experience or about the storm in general you can e-mail me at sepherin72@gmail.com.