MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For those of us who lived through it, Hurricane Andrew is one of those events where you remember exactly where you were and who you were with.
Most of us didn’t go to bed the night of August 23rd, 1992 – we knew what was coming.
CBS4, “WCIX TV” back then, took a big hit.
Outside in the parking lot our satellite dishes took a beating, and in South Dade our transmission tower was destroyed. We were knocked off the air for days.
A small price to pay compared to the devastation suffered in our community.
The destruction was beyond imagination.
What was at the time the most expensive natural disaster in american history, brought out the best in most people. Case in point, one family started giving out food from the back of their van.
But is also it exposed the worst in others. Looting became a major problem.
And we as a community were the most desperate for help we’ve ever been.
It took a bit, but the cavalry came. The military arrived with food and medical supplies.
They erected huge tent cities for the thousands who were left homeless.
Twenty-five years removed, Bryan Norcross, the meteorologist whose coverage became synonymous with Andrew, hopes we remember the lessons.
“Right, so it happened, in the case of Andrew, Sunday evening, when it was clear that it was going to be really, really bad for some part of South Florida, probably Dade County at that point, but I wasn’t even sure about that 100 percent,” he said. “But what was absolutely clear was that all the people we had heard about and talked to that were saying, ‘No, I’m going to wait and see.’ There was no more waiting to see, no more hoping it’s not coming, all energy had to go into preparing. That’s what we wanted people concentrating on so I actually said on television, ‘It is going to happen tonight, we can no longer hope it is not going to happen.’”
The howling and whistling wind on that night 25 years ago is a sound Miamians will never forget.