On the evening of August 24th 1992 Hurricane Andrew Category 5 hit hard and relentless. It missed Key West by about 60 miles. The devastation and death toll was highly underscored by the government.
The hurricane also tore through aviaries, Miami MetroZoo, Monkey Jungle and businesses that peddled exotic animals. That damage unleashed hordes of monkeys, wild birds, llamas, vipers, cougars, gazelles, and, according to some reports, one lion
Today 25 years ago, exactly a month after my arrival in the Keys.
Hurricane Andrew devastated the lower Florida coast, notably Miami and Homestead, missing us by a mere 50-60 miles.
Source: Miami News
Key West Grotto
Personal Photo Collection
They say 65 person died in the storm of the century.
A storm of such magnitude and devastation, such catastrophic destruction only killed 65 persons.
Not believable any way you may look at it.
Guess they did not consider all the illegal persons, undocumented farm workers in the Everglades and surrounding area’s that were missing.
The minimal caretakers of hospitals, zoos and so forth.
I will never forget the stench of death as we drove my grandson to the Miami Hospital for his surgery.
Driving through Homestead it literally looked as if a bomb had been dropped.
Everything was barren of life, just flattened out like a pancake.
My grandson was only 5 years old.
The hospital was empty of persons and personnel, like a tomb of sorts, a hollow echo.
The papers filled with page after page of missing loved ones.
1,000’s and even double, even triple that were gone in a flash, blown and swept out to sea, the Everglades.
Those that were found never had a proper burial and were disposed of in mass graves.
The Media will say anything as their comments in the news “Florida sunshine is open,we are still here.”
This regrettably contradicted and misaligned with the Billboards signs asking “Have you seen my Loved one?”
Those that hunkered down and did not heed the evacuation orders were left on their own. Everything closed. The hospitals, police protection.
We belonged to that group.
A bit of wind that knocked several coconuts to the ground.
Loss of electric, phone service was our fate.
After an amazing four hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Ivan) hit Florida in 2004, you would think the following year wouldn’t be as bad.
Then Dennis, Katrina and Wilma all made landfall as hurricanes in Florida during the historic 2005 Hurricane Season.
Rita passed south of the Florida Keys that year, but did produce significant storm surge flooding in Key West.
Hurricane Wilma was quite the experience. No electric for 9-10 days. The Storm Surge brought massive Flooding from the Gulf and The Atlantic saying a Howdy Do.
Source: Keys News
Many of our beloved trees were ripped apart during 1998 Hurricane George.
Personal Photo Collection
and Hurricane George took out Houseboat Road, which made the City Government of Key West very happy indeed.
Clip from the Keys Newspaper