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One Brickell CityCentre
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I was a kid in Cutler Ridge (off SW 184th ST) at the time and had recently moved from Homestead.
Oh, Jesus! That must have been terrifying as all hell. I was hunkering down in North Miami-Dade and thought we had dodged a bullet until reports started trickling in over the radio and slowly I started to piece it all together.
 

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A Lot of things have changed since hurricane andrew ripped apart south florida 2 decades ago.
 
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I was living in west Kendall at the time in a condo compex that was only 2 stories high and of course I lived on the second floor of the complex. My uncle called me and said we should stay with him since he was a building maintenance man for a complex of apartment buildings in Hialeah that were built in the 70s and were solid concrete.

To add to the anxiety my younger sister was 9 months pregnant also an overdue. I'm glad I heeded my Uncle's advice because on return to my condo, Andrew had ripped off half the roof exposing the bedrooms. It was complete loss regarding personal items. To add insult to injury my landlord wouldn't secure the roof or even come out to see the condition of the property. If some of you remember it rained for a few days after Andrew had passed.
About the only good thing regarding Andrew was the birth of niece on August 24th. at 5:23 AM in a 4th. floor hallway at South Miami hospital!
Last night I was at her house celebrating her birthday!

PS: One of the most striking things about Andrew was when I went out to a outside staircase at South Miami hospital and could see brown dead trees all laying uniform to the west in the direction of the wind.
The other is when I drove past by my street for nearly 3 blocks & not knowing I had since all recognizable signs of my neighborhood had vanished.
 

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Hurricane Andrew had one of the most impressive eyewall i've ever seen on radar...damage looked pretty extensive based on images that i saw. Hopeully Florida will not have to deal with something similar to Andrew anytime soon!
 

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I am still shocked that monster of a storm killed so few people. It was basically an enormous EF3 tornado that killed only some 20ish people.
 

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My aunt and uncle were living in Miami at the time of Andrew. They stayed in an airport bunker which was supposed to be really sturdy but all the walls blew over so they had to stay in an interior closet under a table for most of the hurricane.

While in the interior closet, a brown recluse bit my aunt on the ankle and she didn't notice it until much later. The poison dissolved part of her ankle bone and she's had a hard time walking ever since.
 

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One Brickell CityCentre
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I am still shocked that monster of a storm killed so few people. It was basically an enormous EF3 tornado that killed only some 20ish people.
That magenta-colored band in Dave8721's first map is it. You can see it! Big ugly thing!
 

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I was 6.5 years old 20 years ago, however, I don't remember much since we went to a hurricane shelter in a school slept right through it. In either case we lived right across the river from Downtown Miami in Little Havana at the time, and there was not THAT much damage from what I remember. Although, from what I heard the river rose enough in the storm surge to flood the area and fill my mom's car with water.

I currently work at my college at MDC and brought this up and only me and another older co-worker can even remember this time period, everyone else was too young. Starting to feel quite old.....20 freakin years man.
 

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I was 8 when Andrew hit. I lived in Davie at the time and despite being several miles in land we still got hit pretty hard. Several tornadoes ripped through our neighborhood taking a ton of those huge Australian pine trees down not to mention power lines, screen porches, and a ripping a few roofs off of houses. Nothing got leveled like further south in homestead but there was plenty of damage to be had. That was my first experience with a hurricane and I've lived in Florida my entire life, experiencing a bunch of hurricanes since. None have ever compared to Andrew.

I suppose, the one good thing to come from Andrew were the sweeping changes in building codes as so many homes were exposed of being built of shoddy construction materials and methods - newer homes stand up much better to hurricanes nowadays. though of course there are the many homes that were built in the 40's - 60's that were solid fortresses that continue to survive just fine.
 

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One Brickell CityCentre
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I was 8 when Andrew hit. I lived in Davie at the time and despite being several miles in land we still got hit pretty hard. Several tornadoes ripped through our neighborhood taking a ton of those huge Australian pine trees down not to mention power lines, screen porches, and a ripping a few roofs off of houses. Nothing got leveled like further south in homestead but there was plenty of damage to be had.
A particularly strong band did pass through North Miami-Dade and South Broward. As a result, those areas saw more damage than areas just north of downtown. The Miami Herald printed a two-page radar map the next Sunday, and you could actually see it on that radar map.
 

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Contents Under Pressure
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None of us who lived north of Kendall Drive ever experienced anything even remotely like the horror south of that point, but obviously Andrew was a physical and psychological blow for the whole region.

Specific recollections? Mostly the sinking feeling when the first reports started coming in about the level of devastation in south Dade. When I first saw them on television (I relocated up to my Grandmother's in Pembroke Pines since she had power) I remember crying pretty hard. The place was just leveled.

Obviously, South Florida recovered. Homestead and deep South Dade never fully did, though. Andrew drove a huge chunk of the population away, never to return, and the closure of the AFB (which may have been coming, anyway) was a deep economic punch to the gut.

Hurricanes and the threat of them are obviously an inevitable part of life in South Florida. And just as inevitably, there will be direct hits in the future. Let's hope there are no more Andrew's in our lifetime, though.
 

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Everyone do yourself a favor and listen to this http://wlrnunderthesun.org/andrew/
It's good. But very educational for those of us that didn't live through it.

I was in Orlando at the time. Went surfing the day the before, thinking it'd kick up the surf, but no. Typical 1-2ft rough in Cocoa. Woke up the next day to the headlines and my heart just sunk.

My other memory is the first time driving through South Dade when I moved here. That was 98 and you could still see acres of flattened pinelands and abandoned lots. The whole area has improved immensely since then, but I can only imagine what it was like before Andrew.
 

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I suppose, the one good thing to come from Andrew were the sweeping changes in building codes as so many homes were exposed of being built of shoddy construction materials and methods - newer homes stand up much better to hurricanes nowadays. though of course there are the many homes that were built in the 40's - 60's that were solid fortresses that continue to survive just fine.
At the risk of sounding like an old fuddyduddy, you don't know how right you are. I always feel like the measure of a house that can stand up to a hurricane is if it has a chimney or not. My logic is, if it's old enough to have been built with a chimney, then it's old enough to have been built in a time when quality mattered. And regulations weren't needed to ensure a home was build solidly because pride of workmanship took care of that.

Sigh, those days are long gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
though of course there are the many homes that were built in the 40's - 60's that were solid fortresses that continue to survive just fine.
Our house was one of those. The only part of our house that suffered much damage was a 1970's era addition. A newer 2-story house at the end of our block had the 2nd story sheered right off.
 

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One Brickell CityCentre
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My logic is, if it's old enough to have been built with a chimney, then it's old enough to have been built in a time when quality mattered. And regulations weren't needed to ensure a home was build solidly because pride of workmanship took care of that.

Sigh, those days are long gone.
You're right! It was all about taking pride in a job well done rather than making as much money as you can by cutting corners and ripping people off.
 

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Oh, Jesus! That must have been terrifying as all hell. I was hunkering down in North Miami-Dade and thought we had dodged a bullet until reports started trickling in over the radio and slowly I started to piece it all together.
I was also in NW Dade. My grandfather had passed away the year before so my grandmother came and stayed at out house. I remember looking out the window and seeing a tall pine tree snap in half and another entire tree being dragged down the middle of the street by the wind.

I used to have a Polaroid camera and I would take photos of all the army helicopters and planes coming in to land or take off from Opa-Locka airport in the aftermath. I lived in Miami Lakes.
 

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I was living in west Kendall at the time in a condo compex that was only 2 stories high and of course I lived on the second floor of the complex. My uncle called me and said we should stay with him since he was a building maintenance man for a complex of apartment buildings in Hialeah that were built in the 70s and were solid concrete.

To add to the anxiety my younger sister was 9 months pregnant also an overdue. I'm glad I heeded my Uncle's advice because on return to my condo, Andrew had ripped off half the roof exposing the bedrooms. It was complete loss regarding personal items. To add insult to injury my landlord wouldn't secure the roof or even come out to see the condition of the property. If some of you remember it rained for a few days after Andrew had passed.
About the only good thing regarding Andrew was the birth of niece on August 24th. at 5:23 AM in a 4th. floor hallway at South Miami hospital!
Last night I was at her house celebrating her birthday!

PS: One of the most striking things about Andrew was when I went out to a outside staircase at South Miami hospital and could see brown dead trees all laying uniform to the west in the direction of the wind.
The other is when I drove past by my street for nearly 3 blocks & not knowing I had since all recognizable signs of my neighborhood had vanished.
Wow, that's a cool story. I'm sure your family always tells the story of that night on your nieces birthday. I'm sure it's something that bonds the family like that night did for so many other families. It was one I'll never forget and in a strange way cherish since it was spent with family.
 

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I had just moved to Miami at the time, I lived on Brickell Bay Drive and i remember that the sea cover up the first floor of my building! A lot of cars flipped over it was horrable. Lot's of boats on Coconut grove Marina destroyed, and it sure change Miami after that hurricane, i would say that 60 % of all trees went down during that storm. The Metrozoo was very devastaded, very sad.
 
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