It was a moment that South Florida will never forget – when Hurricane Andrew barreled through Miami-Dade, destroying everything in its path and claiming dozens of lives.
Thursday marked 25 years since the category 5 storm made landfall with the eye located in the southern part of the county, leveling cities like Homestead and Florida City with winds as high as 175 miles per hour.
A total of 44 people lost their lives in the state, with Andrew causing over $25 billion in damage to the area. In all 65 people died and the storm caused an estimated $26.3 million in damage, making it the costliest storm in history at that time.
The efforts to rebuild the areas hit the hardest took time. Homestead lost an estimated $200 million when the Air Force Base located in the city reopened years later with half the staff that was stationed prior to the storm.
The city also lost a money source when the Cleveland Indians, scheduled to move their Spring Training to the city prior to the storm, ended up moving to Central Florida despite the city rebuilding their sports complex.
Andrew also had an effect on Broward County as well, as residents from South Miami-Dade took insurance money from the storms and moved their families north, settling in cities such as Coral Springs, Weston, Plantation and more.
Former WTVJ meteorologist Bryan Norcross, who spent 23 straight hours on the air providing information and updates during the storm, recalled Andrew for the 25th anniversary.
"It was a very fast developing storm, only two days, remember, two days before it actually hit as a category 5, 165 mile an hour storm, it was a category 1, 75 mile an hour storm," Norcross said.