MIAMI – On this day in 1992, Hurricane Andrew pummeled southern Miami-Dade, causing $30 billion in damage and more than 40 deaths.
For many, it was a night of terror as pelting rains and whipping winds wrought destruction, leveling some neighborhoods in the pre-dawn hours.
Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Homestead on August 24 at 5:05 a.m. as a monster Category 5 storm with sustained wind speeds as high as 165 mph and gusts as high as 174 mph.
It was the most costly natural disaster in the history of the U.S. at the time.
There was terrible loss mirrored tens of thousands of times over. They literally had to rebuild entire cities across South Florida.
Life was hard after the storm. There was no power at home or work. No phones. No stores. No jobs.
The mayor of Homestead estimated roughly half of his town left. The devastated Air Force base in Homestead closed. Much of the middle class disappeared.
Andrew destroyed more than 63,500 houses and damaged more than 124,000 others.
Those who stayed were determined to rebuild. Federal funds, grants, and a boost from insurance checks and sales tax funded a post-hurricane building boom.
When the 1992 hurricane season ended, the name Andrew was removed from the list of future names for Atlantic tropical cyclones and replaced with Alex. The name Andrew will never be used for another Atlantic hurricane again.
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