Hurricane Andrew: From Chaos to a New Beginning

Hurricane Andrew will always be a part of the story of south Florida. For those who have only seen pictures or heard secondhand stories, it may be difficult to imagine the utter devastation, or the Herculean effort it took to recover from it. But for both of those reasons, it will always be a part of many Floridians own personal stories. The Museum’s new Hurricane Andrew exhibit tells the tale of the storm from the point of view of the people who survived it. But it has also inspired people to come forward to re-tell their own account – how it felt, how it sounded, and how it still stays with them. One visitor was compelled to come to the exhibit with her children, and to share a poem with us that she wrote 20 years ago, at age 19. She has allowed us to share it with you here:

A little wind, a little rain,
Every year it’s the same old thing
By Sunday we figured we’d play their game
So we boarded up our house, every neighbor did the same
Hurricane parties on every block
Friends and family, there they would flock
Later that evening this all had seemed dumb,
By that time we were wishing that Andrew would come
At three in the morning, every station had bad news
Just about that time, FPL blew a fuse
We went to a room and there we would stay
Everyone silent in hopes he would go away
He tapped on the glass and pounded on the door
We ignored him as we huddled on the floor
He came through the kitchen window first
Then out our front doors he had to burst
Another wind came back around
Leaving our roof on our neighbor’s ground
Before long, we sat in water six inches deep
We were tired and wet, but who thought of sleep?
At eight o’clock it was safe to venture out
We were all alive without a doubt
We walked the streets to see what Andrew left behind
Some really familiar houses were very hard to find
Some of our neighbors we’ve never met
If this had not happened we may have not yet
Small children and ladies with eyes full of tears
Devastation that will haunt us for many years
Troops are here to make things OK
But this is by far Miami’s worst day!
– Kerri W. G.,    9/92

Hurricane Andrew through the eyes of children

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