MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On this day in 1992, which was 29 years ago, Hurricane Andrew smashed into South Florida, pummeled south Miami-Dade, causing $30 billion in damage and more than 40 deaths.
For many, it was a night of terror as pelting rains and whipping winds wrought destruction, leveling some neighborhoods in the pre-dawn hours.READ MORE: US Dept. Of Health: Number Of COVID-19 Hospitalizations In Florida Continue To Decline
Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Homestead on August 24, 1992, as a monster Category 5 storm with sustained wind speeds as high as 165 mph and gusts as high as 174 mph.
It was the most-costly natural disaster in the history of the U.S. at the time, not to be surpassed until Hurricane Katrina 13 years later. There was terrible loss mirrored tens of thousands of times over.
They literally had to rebuild entire cities across South Florida.
Life was hard after the storm. There was no power at home or work. No phones. No stores. No jobs.READ MORE: Florida Joins Fight Against Partnership Between American Airlines & JetBlue
The mayor of Homestead estimated roughly half his town left. The devastated Air Force base in Homestead closed. Much of the middle class disappeared.
Andrew destroyed more than 63,500 houses, damaged more than 124,000 others.
Those who stayed were determined to rebuild. Federal funds, grants, and a boost from insurance checks and sales tax funded a post hurricane building boom.
Andrew is one of only four hurricanes to make landfall in the United States as a Category 5 since 1900. The others are the 1935 Florida Keys Labor Day storm, Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Hurricane Michael in 2018.MORE NEWS: Man Who Suffered Severe Burns Reunites With Staff Who Helped Save His Life At Kendall Regional Medical Center
When the 1992 hurricane season ended, the name Andrew was removed from the list of future names for Atlantic tropical cyclones and replaced with Alex. The name Andrew will never be used for another Atlantic hurricane again.