Janny Vancedarfield sits in front of the debris that was once his house September 1, 1992, in Florida City, Fla. Vancedarfield lived in this house with six other family members before it was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in September 1992.

A look back at Hurricane Andrew’s impact on Florida

Photos show how the Category 5 storm devastated South Florida 30 years ago today.
Janny Vancedarfield sits in front of the debris that was once his house September 1, 1992, in Florida City, Fla. Vancedarfield lived in this house with six other family members before it was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in September 1992. [ LYNN SLADKY | ASSOCIATED PRESS ]
Photos show how the Category 5 storm devastated South Florida 30 years ago today.
Published Aug. 24|Updated Aug. 25

Today (Aug. 24) marks the 30th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane that slammed into Florida and one of the most expensive such disaster in U.S. history. The killer storm left thousands of families, many of them South Florida’s poorest residents, without homes. In Homestead, a little less than 10 miles inland, officials estimated nearly 85 percent of the town of 31,000 had been destroyed. There was heavy damage to the stadium that was to become the spring home of the Cleveland Indians. Homestead Air Force Base was wiped out. With sustained winds of 140 mph and gusts to 168, Andrew did not carry the coastal water damage many predicted. Storm surges reached about 12 feet, instead of the 20 feet that had been feared. Still, along a wide band from Coral Gables to Homestead, storm damage was catastrophic. In total, Andrew destroyed more than 63,500 houses, damaged more than 124,000 others, caused $27.3 billion in damage, and left 65 people dead.

Palm and coconut trees snap back during  a gust as other trees litter Ocean Drive in the Art Deco section of Miami Beach, Aug. 24, 1992.  Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida with wind speeds as high as 160-mph before moving into the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Palm and coconut trees snap back during a gust as other trees litter Ocean Drive in the Art Deco section of Miami Beach, Aug. 24, 1992. Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida with wind speeds as high as 160-mph before moving into the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
FILE - This Aug. 25, 1992 file photo shows rows of damaged houses between Homestead and Florida City, Fla. Two decades after Andrew devastated the area, Homestead and Florida City have doubled in size into a demographically different community, better prepared to deal with hurricanes. (AP Photo/Mark Foley, File)
FILE - This Aug. 25, 1992 file photo shows rows of damaged houses between Homestead and Florida City, Fla. Two decades after Andrew devastated the area, Homestead and Florida City have doubled in size into a demographically different community, better prepared to deal with hurricanes. (AP Photo/Mark Foley, File)
A Lafayette police officer blocks the street in Lafayette, La., Aug. 26, 1992, after severe winds ripped the roof off a business as Hurricane Andrew made landfall earlier. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
A Lafayette police officer blocks the street in Lafayette, La., Aug. 26, 1992, after severe winds ripped the roof off a business as Hurricane Andrew made landfall earlier. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
Florida City, Fla., resident Doloris Clark, 74, refuses to leave her home which was badly damaged by Hurricane Andrew, fearing that thieves would take her remaining belongings, Sept. 6, 1992.  A bust of Christ sits in the background.  (AP Photo/John Moore)
Florida City, Fla., resident Doloris Clark, 74, refuses to leave her home which was badly damaged by Hurricane Andrew, fearing that thieves would take her remaining belongings, Sept. 6, 1992. A bust of Christ sits in the background. (AP Photo/John Moore)
U.S. President George H. Bush checks a cot set up in a tent that is part of a "tent city" being built at Homestead, Fla., Sept. 1, 1992 for the homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. With the President is his wife Barbara right. (AP Photo/Scott Applewhite)
U.S. President George H. Bush checks a cot set up in a tent that is part of a "tent city" being built at Homestead, Fla., Sept. 1, 1992 for the homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. With the President is his wife Barbara right. (AP Photo/Scott Applewhite)
Emergency supplies are taken off a military helicopter at the Campbell Middle School in Homestead, Fla., Aug. 29, 1992, for distribution to victims of Hurricane Andrew, which ripped through the area last Monday. More than 250,000 persons were left homeless in the storm.  (AP Photo/David Bergman)
Emergency supplies are taken off a military helicopter at the Campbell Middle School in Homestead, Fla., Aug. 29, 1992, for distribution to victims of Hurricane Andrew, which ripped through the area last Monday. More than 250,000 persons were left homeless in the storm. (AP Photo/David Bergman)
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 1992 file photo, a sailboat sits on a sidewalk at Dinner Key in Miami after it was washed ashore by Hurricane Andrew. Several days after it almost dissipated, Andrew rapidly strengthened and was a Category 4 storm at landfall in Homestead, Fla. The Hurricane Center measured a peak wind gust of 164 mph. Andrew continued into the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the central Louisiana coast as a Category 3 hurricane. Andrew was blamed for 23 deaths in the U.S. and three deaths in the Bahamas and caused an estimated $26.5 billion in damage in the United States. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 1992 file photo, a sailboat sits on a sidewalk at Dinner Key in Miami after it was washed ashore by Hurricane Andrew. Several days after it almost dissipated, Andrew rapidly strengthened and was a Category 4 storm at landfall in Homestead, Fla. The Hurricane Center measured a peak wind gust of 164 mph. Andrew continued into the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the central Louisiana coast as a Category 3 hurricane. Andrew was blamed for 23 deaths in the U.S. and three deaths in the Bahamas and caused an estimated $26.5 billion in damage in the United States. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)
This water tower, shown Aug. 25, 1992, a landmark at Florida City, Fla., still stands over the ruins of the Florida coastal community that was hit by the force of Hurricane Andrew. The storm damage to the South Florida area was estimated at $15 billion, leaving about 50,000 homeless. (AP Photo/Ray Fairall)
This water tower, shown Aug. 25, 1992, a landmark at Florida City, Fla., still stands over the ruins of the Florida coastal community that was hit by the force of Hurricane Andrew. The storm damage to the South Florida area was estimated at $15 billion, leaving about 50,000 homeless. (AP Photo/Ray Fairall)
Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge