On August 24, 1992, a hurricane pummeled South Florida and its surrounding regions. Hurricane Andrew was so devastating that the name “Andrew” was retired from the Atlantic hurricane list for any hurricane season following. It killed 65 people and caused more that $26 billion dollars worth of damage. According to the Huffington post, this is what the hurricane accomplished: 25,524 destroyed, 101,241 homes damaged, 3300 miles of broken power lines, 3000 water mains wrecked, 59 health care facilities ruined, and 31 public schools ravaged.
Upon arrival, Hurricane Andrew had a surface wind speed estimated at 145 mph with some estimations as high as 175 mph. It was measured as a category 4 hurricane although in later years, researchers said it was actually a category 5, which is the strongest possible hurricane.
A majority of the destruction from Andrew was wreaked on South Florida, with the rest of it hitting parts of Louisiana. Considering the enormous financial impact it caused, it also left more than 200,000 people homeless. Making matter worse, the hurricane destroyed a lot of the communication infrastructure, which left over 1.4 million people without power.
There had not been a significant hurricane in the area for more than 30 years at the time so there was more than a generation worth of South Floridian residents that had never experienced a hurricane. On the bright side, Hurricane Andrew brought about a new kind of awareness for the area that led them to create more effective evacuation methods and precautions in the event that another hurricane would hit in the future.
Below is a short yet stunning video of Hurricane Andrew in action and some of the aftermath. It shows you the sheer power of this hurricane. Frightening stuff, if you ask me.