Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Remember Hurricane Andrew?
On August 24, 1992, a small but extremely intense Hurricane Andrew slammed into South Florida. Andrew made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, the 3rd most intense landfalling US hurricane and the 1st in total estimated US property damage at the time. (Katrina eclipsed it in both intensity and damage in 2005.) Andrew hit the highly populated Miami area after a 27-year lull in hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin. During the period between 1965 and 1992, only 2 hurricanes of any significance made landfall in Florida, both in the panhandle. At the same time, the coast around Miami had experienced unprecedented development, populated largely by residents from the Northeast who had no experience with Florida’s history of violent hurricanes. As a result, South Florida was devastated. Damage was extensive, estimated at about $30 billion. Fifteen people lost their lives directly due to the hurricane and another 25 by more indirect means.
Yes, hurricanes can be devastating and deadly; however, I have always been fascinated by them. (I confess - I am a weather nut.) Don’t get me wrong – I do not want them to come ashore and destroy homes and lives; however, watching them develop from a messy disorganized cluster of clouds into a perfect spiral inspires me to wonder at the beauty and power of nature. But I do prefer that all this beauty and power stay well off-shore…