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Hurricane Andrew - 25 Years of Recovery

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Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2017 8:00 pm | Updated: 12:46 pm, Fri Sep 1, 2017.

   There is no excitement, no big celebration, no thrills and no smiles when looking back and remembering Hurricane Andrew.  This is an event in life that many wish to forget.  Lives were changed forever and more importantly, lives were lost.

What did Andrew do for us?

 Andrew took away of sense of safety. 

   He stripped away our sense of security.  We thought we were all prepared.  Oh yes, a hurricane.  You see it on television when the newscasters are interviewing those who are in the path of a threatening hurricane.  Many exclaim, "Oh yeah...we are ready!  Hurricane party!  Plenty of booze!”

Andrew strengthened our faith.

    During Andrew, many prayed harder than they ever have.  Our family prayed for our lives to be spared.  With the fierce roar of the storm wreaking havoc inside of our homes, we sent silent volleys of prayer to the heavens for saving grace.

Andrew created guilt among many. 

    As parents, many of us felt and still feel guilty for putting our children through such a traumatic experience.   Why didn’t we leave is a question filled with guilt.  Was it too much for our children to experience?

Andrew stripped away many of our children’s childhoods. 

  Pride abounds for our son, Danny, who acted as a man holding the front doors until the storm became too much.

   My guilt abounded when after the storm, our once out-going daughter trembled in fear during a thunderstorm.  The first time it looked like rain, she kept repeating…” Please don’t let it rain.,. Please don’t let it rain…I wished I could stop the rain.  To this day, she still has a terrible fear of storms.

   For many seniors in high school, Andrew ripped apart their senior year.  The class of 93’ was torn apart by the winds and students were blown all over the country.  Even more so, perhaps aa few student athletes counting on scholarships were passed up due to the lack of a full season.

Andrew took away many of our friends. 

   Many residents walked away from their properties and moved out of the area.  Andrew uprooted many families, and separated neighbors and friends.

Andrew killed. 

   He wiped out the lives of 13 people including a thirteen-year-old girl.  According to an article in the New York Times on August 28, 1992, “The deaths of at least 30 other people may be attributable to the storm.  Those deaths occurred because high winds kept emergency workers from reaching victims, the medical examiner said, and others were due to anxiety and stress brought on by the storm and its aftermath.”  Add to that the suicides of those who could not cope over the weeks that followed. 

  For those of us who survived Andrew, we know that there is no such thing as a hurricane party and no amount of “booze” can take away the terrible

memories.  Andrew's winds tore apart our lives.

   For those of us who survived Andrew, are we really stronger or more afraid than every of a future storm?

   For those of us who were traumatized by Andrew, we do not want to remember.  The shirts and slogans were, “I survived Andrew.”  Well, many of us did survive Andrew but would never want to do it again.

   Andrew…. we wish we could forget the day you darkened our doorstep.

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