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Remembering Hurricane Andrew 20 Years Ago

NBC 6's reporter remembers covering Hurricane Andrew 20 years ago

By Hank Tester
|  Friday, Aug 24, 2012  |  Updated 8:37 AM EDT
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NBC 6 reporter Hank Tester recalls the devastating storm 20 years ago.

NBC 6 reporter Hank Tester recalls the devastating storm 20 years ago.

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20 Years Later, Homestead Reflects on Hurricane Andrew

Almost 20 years to the day that Hurricane Andrew wiped through South Florida, residents of Homestead gathered to commemorate the storm’s anniversary. The feeling was much different Tuesday, as residents who had withered the storm smiled and shook hands. Resident Teddy Hurlbert called the storm a "life-changing event."
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I remember Hurricane Andrew.

It was devastating and personally bewildering - Hurricane Andrew was like nothing I had ever seen in my life.

Raised in Arizona and Nevada, earthquakes were not unfamiliar, but this devastation was difficult to sort out, and frustrating.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Andrew

People were in desperate straits. They needed help, and for once, as a veteran newsman, I had no answers.

Homestead Reflects on Hurricane Andrew

Around every corner was another story and it was usually worse that the last.

As it was with many of us, Hurricane Andrew was not something to just report on, it became our lives and it became personal. I too became homeless. The Saga Bay apartment I had rented months earlier was totally trashed - it was easy to relate.

If Andrew was frightening, the recovery was pure drudgery. If Andrew was the worst of times, the stories of the recovery approached being the best of times, but it was oh-so-slow, heart breaking as a major portion of the South Dade population fled and mom and pop stores disappeared.

The Homestead Air Force base was a complete loss and Homestead, which so resembles my hometown - agricultural, military, a little tourism - was flat on its back.

We reported and reported, exhausted every day, knowing that this was probably the story of our lives.

That lives with me still - the sounds, the sights and the smell of Hurricane Andrew.

Zoo Miami's Ron Magill Recounts Hurricane Andrew

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