Twenty four years ago, the lives of many in Miami-Dade County were effected and, in some cases, changed forever. In the early morning hours of August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew made landfall through Homestead, destroying over 25,000 homes in the entire county and damaging nearly 100,000 more.
The storm had just become a hurricane two days before, with a projected landfall near Jupiter with winds around 105 MPH. Conditions changed that, as the storm intensified to 175 MPH when it hit the Bahamas on Sunday, August 23rd.
Andrew would regain most of its strength in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, hitting Elliott Key at 165 MPH before the eye of the storm made landfall around 5 AM on Monday.
When it was all done, 65 people were killed (including 44 in Florida alone) in the Bahamas, Florida and along the Gulf Coast region where Andrew hit after reentering water in the Gulf of Mexico. Its winds at landfall made it the third strongest storm to strike in U.S. History, while the damage total of $26 billon at the time ranked as the four costliest storm ever.
Andrew’s impact has been felt by residents since. While some of those who lived in the most effected areas in the southern part of the county moved away – either to northern parts of the county, Broward County or even out of state – those who stayed saw building codes become stricter throughout the state in an effort to prevent the mass amount of damage caused to homes that had not been built to withstand storms of that strength.