Synoptic description of the disaster :
On August 24th, 1992 in the state of Florida, complete destruction was the end result of Hurricane Andrew Essay. A Hurricane that began in the Atlantic ocean at 20mph. That is almost twice the strength that normal hurricanes begin at. The peak strength of Hurricane Andrew was so strong that devices were not able to measure the winds. An approximation of the force of the winds was said to be up to 200mph.
Andrew destroyed about 28,000 homes, damaged 100,000 homes and left 250,000 people homeless along with 30 billion dollars in damage and almost 30 deaths. Hurricane Andrew did not end its devastation in Florida, soon it went to Louisiana causing more damage. (Fig.1)
The destruction, injuries and losses were not the only things to worry about after Andrew. Only hours after Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida, looting began. People were taking advantage of others in this moment of crisis, stealing the few possessions that were left.
The Clintons, President Bush, at the time, Governor Lawton Chiles were the leaders that came to see the magnitude of this disaster. Seeing the situations in the aftermath of Andrew, troops were sent in to protect and help distribute food, water, clothes and supplies. They also provided medical help. People had guns and were not afraid to use them to save what little they had left. A curfew was established to keep people off the streets and out of trouble.
Andrew began as a tropical depression in the Atlantic almost a week before hitting South Florida.
The next day, which was August 17th , it was the first tropical storm of the season. It was moving with amazing quickness and strength in a west and northwest direction. Finally on August 22nd, tropical storm Andrew became Hurricane Andrew, a category 4 hurricane. (Fig.3)
August 23rd Hurricane Andrew had winds of 150mph. Hours later, being a category 4 hurricane, Andrew’s pressure fell and had winds of about 175mph.
It was on August 24 when Hurricane Andrew arrived in South Florida. Andrew’s fury began early that day at 4:30am. Andrew’s power and magnitude was heard in every direction. Objects of every kind where airborne, roofs where flying, vehicles were being tossed around
like toys. Boats were making their way from the water onto the streets. Total chaos would be the best description of what went on.
By the time that the sun rose, the destruction was obvious. At 11am that same morning of the 24th Andrew was working its way across South Florida. The path of destruction that Andrew left was about 30 miles wide.
Andrew wasn’t finished yet, back into the Atlantic ocean Andrew regained some of the power that was lost in his South Florida visit and was now heading to Louisiana. Louisiana suffered the similar showdown that the South Floridians endured. Destructions were also brought about from tornadoes that came with Andrew’s power.
Social and economic impact of the disaster:
In the aftermath of Andrew there seemed to have been a disappearance in social classes. Everyone was now in need. The rich were in line with the poor to accept donated food and supplies. It did not matter how much or how little money you had, everyone was treated the same.
With 30 billion dollars in damage, help needed to come quickly to help rebuild.
FEMA ( Federal Emergency Management Agency) came to the aid of thousands,
President George Bush requested 7.6 billion dollars from Congress and Governor Lawton Chiles requested more since that would not be sufficient to rebuild all of the damage. Economic losses were due to businesses that were closed, people not being able to work and the damages. This had a very high negative impact on the economy of South Florida. Everyone relied on help from the government, donations from people in other parts of the country and organizations such as the Red Cross.
Personal suggestion for prevention and recovery of disaster:
There isn’t a way of preventing a hurricane, but there are ways to prevent injuries.
If you have never experienced a hurricane, learn about them. Many places offer free hurricane tips and preparation. Always have the necessities if the is a hurricane warning; .