25 Years Later, Remembering the Destruction of Hurricane Andrew

In recent decades, Florida has been relatively lucky when it comes to hurricanes. Though we’ve seen havoc from big storms like Charley, Wilma, and Matthew since 2000, Florida has avoided a storm like 2004’s Katrina or “Super Storm” Sandy in 2012. But before you decide to throw out your hurricane prep supplies, let Hurricane Andrew, which struck South Florida 25 years ago today, remind you of the dangers that Florida faces in the event of a major hurricane.

25 Years Later, Remembering Hurricane Andrew

Like most dangerous storms, Hurricane Andrew formed as a tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean in August of 1992. But by the time it reached the Bahamas, the storm has rapidly intensified. It only increased in strength as it barreled toward Florida. By the time it made landfall in Miami-Dade County, it was a category five hurricane. It brought a high of 13.98 inches of rainfall and a storm surge of up to 16.9 feet. However, it was the heavy winds, moving at up to 177 miles per hour, that did the most damage. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed, and thousands of residents still have harrowing stories of winds that were strong enough to tear roofs and wallpaper, shatter windows, and send trees and other projectiles spinning through the air.

Overall, 44 people were killed, and the storm left $25 billion in damages in its wake. At the time, Hurricane Andrew was the worst storm to strike the United States, and still remains the strongest storm to ever hit Florida. Andrew had lasting repercussions in South Florida: mostly white families left the area, contributing to major geographic change, and the rates of PTSD, suicide attempts, and divorce shot up in the years following the storm. Additionally, when a facility storming Burmese pythons was damaged by the winds, many of the large snakes escaped into the Everglades, contributing to the invasive species issue we still see today.

How To Prepare

If you didn’t experience Andrew, or haven’t experienced a serious hurricane at all, it can be easy to forget that they’re a very real threat to life and property. This is why it’s critical to always be prepared.

According to Ready.Gov, some basic hurricane safety tips include:

  • Have an emergency evacuation plan in place. It’s important to have a few evacuation options, since the storm could come from various directions. Know that heavy flooding could close certain roads, so have a backup plan.
  • Pack an emergency kit. It should include flashlights and batteries, a first aid kit, copies of important information, and bottled water
  • Before the start of hurricane season, trim tree branches, and remove any dead or dying branches.
  • Consider purchasing a generator
  • If an evacuation order is issued, obey it immediately

We can hope that Florida continues its lucky streak. But we also shouldn’t forget the devastation in 1992, and we should certainly never let our guard down!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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