Homestead, Florida

HomesteadHomestead, FLFlorida (Homestead)
In August 1992, the Category 5 hurricane Andrew devastated the town, as well as nearby Homestead Air Force Base. Hurricane Katrina caused flooding in Homestead in August 2005. The following October, Hurricane Wilma damaged light poles, grandstands, garages, and sections of catch fence at the Homestead–Miami Speedway, a motor racetrack built in the years following Hurricane Andrew. After Hurricane Wilma, a Homestead man was killed in a tractor accident while clearing debris. When Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September 2017, parts of Homestead lost electric power. South Dade Center, a low-income housing project for farmworkers, was flooded with rainwater.

Miami-Dade County, Florida

Miami-Dade CountyMiami-DadeDade County
The third-costliest natural disaster to occur in the United States was Hurricane Andrew, which hit Miami in the early morning of Monday, August 24, 1992. It struck the southern part of the county from due east, south of Miami and very near Homestead, Kendall, and Cutler Ridge (now the Town of Cutler Bay). Damages numbered over US$25 billion in the county alone, and recovery has taken years in these areas where the destruction was greatest. This was the costliest natural disaster in US history until Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf region in 2005. On November 13, 1997, voters changed the name of the county from Dade to Miami-Dade to acknowledge the international name recognition of Miami.

Florida City, Florida

Florida CityFlorida
Both cities suffered catastrophic damage in August 1992 when Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida. The city originated as a land promotion named Detroit. There were no buildings in the area when the first thirty families arrived in 1910, and they had to stay in Homestead until their houses could be built. The name was changed to Florida City when the town incorporated in 1914. It has a small historic area, but much of the city is hotels and other tourist facilities. The city is at the eastern end of the only road running through the Everglades National Park, which terminates at Flamingo. Florida City is the southernmost city in the United States which is not on an island.


FLState of FloridaFloridian
In 1992, Florida was the site of what was then the costliest weather disaster in U.S. history, Hurricane Andrew, which caused more than $25 billion in damages when it struck during August; it held that distinction until 2005, when Hurricane Katrina surpassed it, and it has since been surpassed by six other hurricanes. Andrew is currently the second costliest hurricane in Florida's history.

Cutler Bay, Florida

Cutler BayCutler RidgeSaga Bay
In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew made landfall near the area and caused extensive destruction. Lakes by the Bay was one of the areas of Miami most affected by Hurricane Andrew, and most homes and businesses in the area were completely destroyed. The area has since been rebuilt. Cutler Bay is located just west of Biscayne Bay at 25.58268°N, -80.3468°W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 4.9 sqmi. 4.8 sqmi of it is land and 0.1 sqmi of it (2.26%) is water. The total square miles is ten.

Morgan City, Louisiana

Morgan CityBrashear CityBrashear City, Louisiana
On August 26, 1992, Hurricane Andrew came ashore 20 mi to the southwest of town. Andrew was the second most destructive hurricane in U.S. history, crossing Florida and then regaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico before striking Louisiana. A type of blackberry deemed the Youngberry was developed by B.M. Young in 1905 in Morgan City, as a hybrid between a variety of blackberries. The Youngberry is a cross between Luther Burbank’s, Phenomenal Berry, and the Austin-Mayes Dewberry, a trailing blackberry. The Youngberry was introduced commercially in 1926 and quickly came to rival Loganberries.

Lawton Chiles

ChilesGovernor ChilesLawton M. Chiles
During his first term as Governor of Florida, Lawton Chiles brought reform to health care in the state and oversaw recovery efforts from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Chiles faced a tough re-election bid in 1994 against Jeb Bush, who was a businessman and son of former President of the United States George H. W. Bush. Chiles prevailed over Bush by fewer than 64,000 votes. In his second term, Chiles was known for his reforms to education in Florida. On December 12, 1998, he suffered a heart attack and died at the Florida Governor's Mansion, leaving Lieutenant Governor Buddy MacKay to serve the remaining 23 days of Chiles' unexpired term.

Burmese python

Python bivittatuspythonalbino python
Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was deemed responsible for the destruction of a python breeding facility and zoo, and these escaped snakes spread and populated areas into the Everglades. More than 1,330 have been captured in the Everglades. Also, between the years 1996 and 2006, the Burmese python has gained popularity in the pet trade, with more than 90,000 snakes imported into the US. By 2007, the Burmese python was found in northern Florida and in the coastal areas of the Florida Panhandle. The importation of Burmese pythons was banned in the United States in January 2012 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Hurricane Irma

Irmaanother major hurricaneHurricanes Irma
Furthermore, when Irma made landfall on Barbuda, Saint Martin, Virgin Gorda, and Cuba as a Category 5 hurricane, it became one of only two recorded Atlantic storms to make landfall in multiple nations at this strength; the other was Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which struck both Eleuthera and the United States as a Category 5 hurricane. Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys with winds of 130 mph (215 km/h) and a pressure of 931 mbar (hPa; 27.49 inHg), making it the strongest hurricane to strike Florida in terms of wind speed since Charley in 2004, and the most intense to strike the state in terms of barometric pressure since Andrew in 1992.

National Hurricane Center

National Hurricane Center (NHC)NHCNational Hurricane
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew blew the WSR-57 weather radar and the anemometer off the roof of NHC's/the Miami State Weather Forecast offices. The radar was replaced with a WSR-88D NEXRAD system in April 1993 installed near Metro Zoo, near where Hurricane Andrew made landfall. In 1995, the NHC moved into a new hurricane-resistant facility on the campus of Florida International University, capable of withstanding 130 mph (210 km/h) winds. Its name was changed to the Tropical Prediction Center in 1995.


Eleuthera IslandEleuthera, BahamasCape Eleuthera
In 1992 the island was severely damaged by the category 5 Hurricane Andrew; massive wind speeds hit the island and an 18-foot tidal surge inundated the coastal area. Relief efforts helped mitigate some of the damage, including a number of relief tasks that were carried out by HMS Cardiff as the vessel was operating in the area. In 2000, the official census taken by the Government of the Bahamas recorded a population of 7,999 persons on the island. In 2010, the official census recorded the population as 8,202 spread across 2,718 separate households. The 2010 census stated that population density of the island was 57.6 persons, per square mile.

Hurricane Wilma

WilmaTropical Storm Wilma2005
Most notably in downtown Fort Lauderdale, there was significant damage to older buildings, including the Broward County Courthouse, School Board Building and taller area office buildings built before the implementation of stricter building codes after Hurricane Andrew. The glass facades in a number of downtown buildings, notably the Templeton Building, were sheared off by high winds. Few reports of effects from Hurricane Wilma exist in the United States outside of Florida, with minimal impact other than rain recorded in other states. Rainfall had extended into Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia; only a few areas had observed rain greater than two inches (51 mm).

Hurricane Lester (1992)

Hurricane LesterLesterLester 1992
The storms remnants transitioned into an extratropical cyclone as it continued to the north-northeast ahead of an approaching trough, and merged with the remnants of Hurricane Andrew on August 29 over Pennsylvania. The Government of Mexico issued tropical storm watches and warnings for Baja California on August 21. The following day, a hurricane warning was issued for the peninsula from Punta Eugenia southward to Cabo San Lazaro. The government of Mexico also issued a tropical storm warning for the Sonora and Sinaloa mainland from Cabo Tepopa to Los Mochis. All watches and warnings were discontinued as the storm weakened and dissipated.

Homestead Air Reserve Base

Homestead Air Force BaseHomestead AFBHomestead ARB
As Hurricane Andrew approached South Florida in late August 1992, the base evacuated their F-16 fighter aircraft to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio and their Air Force Reserve HC-130 and HH-60 rescue aircraft to Patrick Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Base personnel and their families were under evacuation orders prior to the arrival of the Category 5 storm. The planes and essential personnel stayed in Ohio until April 1993, at which point they were transferred to MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Florida. The stay at MacDill was short lived as the wing returned to Homestead in March 1994.

Country Walk, Florida

Country Walk
In August 1992, Country Walk was severely destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. 90% of the 1,700 homes in Country Walk were destroyed. Following the hurricane, property owners filed lawsuits against the developer of Country Walk, Arvida for shoddy construction. In the subsequent years, the homes were slowly rebuilt. Unlike the destroyed homes which were made of wood frame construction, the new homes were rebuilt with concrete walls. Although many areas of Miami were heavily affected by Hurricane Andrew, Country Walk was one of the worst affected and remains a reminder of the hurricane's extensive disaster in the CDP today.

Elliott Key

Elliott Key, Florida
On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew made landfall on Elliott Key. * Nautical Chart of Elliott Key

Saffir–Simpson scale

major hurricaneCategory 5Category 1 hurricane
Historical examples of storms that made landfall at Category 5 status include: "Cuba" (1924), "Okeechobee" (1928), "Bahamas" (1932), "Cuba–Brownsville" (1933), "Labor Day" (1935), Janet (1955), Camille (1969), Edith (1971), Anita (1977), David (1979), Gilbert (1988), Andrew (1992), Dean (2007), Felix (2007), Irma (2017), and Maria (2017). No Category 5 hurricane is known to have made landfall at that strength in the eastern Pacific basin. Some scientists, including Kerry Emanuel and Lakshmi Kantha, have criticized the scale as being simplistic, indicating that the scale takes into account neither the physical size of a storm nor the amount of precipitation it produces.

Southland Mall (Miami)

Southland MallCutler Ridge Mall
The mall was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. When Cutler Ridge Mall reopened the following year, none of the original Cutler Ridge Shopping Center (except Sears) remained standing. The owner, Simon DeBartolo (now Simon Property Group) declared bankruptcy in the late 1990s and ownership was transferred to Lender Ocwen Federal Bank. Jordan Marsh became an auxiliary Burdines store for a short time, but after the mall was damaged by the hurricane, Burdines consolidated to the former Jordan Marsh. The former Richard's/Burdines building was torn down for J. Luria and Sons, a local catalog showroom chain, which opened at the mall in 1994.

Hurricane Camille

CamilleHurricane Camille Hurricane PartyTropical Storm Camille
The size of Camille's radius of maximum wind was less than one-third that of Katrina, more similar to the intense but small Hurricane Andrew. Also unlike Katrina, Camille caused little damage in New Orleans, Louisiana, though Camille itself just barely missed the city. The area of hurricane-force winds within Camille was just over two-thirds the size of Hurricane Katrina. Both storms were moving at a similar forward motion at the time of landfall. Although Camille's wind speed at landfall was higher, Katrina's storm surge exceeded Camille's storm surge at all known locations due to its greater size. Both hurricanes' names were retired. * A Lady Called Camille (1971), created by the U.S.