Friday marked a 20-year Hurricane Andrew anniversary, and as the state remembers one devastating event making landfall, it must also prepare of a deluge from a force of nature, unrelenting, one that will not listen to reason and plows ahead regardless of cost to life or limb.
And aside from the GOP convention, it has Hurricane Issac with which to contend.
Hurricane Andrew’s anniversary reminds us that while the incredibly destructive storm feels like it happened not too long ago, much has changed for those in hurricane paths since Andrew killed more than 60 people and caused nearly $30 billion in damage back in 1992.
Doris Rennert explains her experience on Hurricane Andrew’s anniversary, illustrating how back then, it was harder for Florida residents to arm themselves with knowledge:
“I hear people talking about tornadoes, how they sound like a train coming, well this was a coming train for four straight hours. This train was coming non-stop for hours with the house almost like a balloon in and out, no electricity after one am.”
Rennert recalls a time when there was no 24-hour news coverage ahead of Hurricane Andrew, and no smartphone alerts to warn residents of high-risk areas of storm intensity, or available safe havens:
“The wind was scary. We couldn’t even sit, we were just standing up with transistor radios in our ears just to get through the night.”
Looking back on Hurricane Andrew’s aftermath, the Orlando Sentinel says in an op-ed that the highly publicized storm changed the way Florida reacted to hurricanes:
“Hurricane Andrew changed the way Floridians think about windstorms. Gone are the days when approaching storms would signal “hurricane parties” on the beach, or prompt residents to apply masking tape to their windows as legitimate protection against wind damage. Now every Floridian is advised to take hurricanes seriously, and be prepared with supplies and a plan.”
As Hurricane Andrew’s anniversary passes, are you old enough to recall the monster storm and its devastation?