Hurricane Andrew 1992

Hurricane Andrew was the second-most destructive hurricane in U.S. history, causing more than $30 billion in damage in August 1992. Andrew began to form over North Africa and grew in strength as trade winds drove it across the Atlantic. On August 22 Andrew had grown to hurricane strength and moved across the Bahamas with 150-mile-per-hour (241 km/ hr) winds, killing four people. On August 24 Andrew smashed into southern Florida with a nearly 17-foot (5.2-m) high storm surge, steady winds of 145 miles per hour (233 km/hr), and gusts up to 200 miles per hour (322 km/hr). Andrew's path traversed a part of south Florida that had hundreds of thousands of poorly constructed homes and trailer parks, and hurricane winds caused intense and widespread destruction. Andrew destroyed 80,000 buildings, severely damaged another 55,000, and demolished thousands of cars, signs, and trees. In southern Florida 33 people died. Andrew lost much of its strength as it traveled across Florida, but it later moved back into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and regained much of that strength. On August 26 Andrew made landfall again, this time in Louisiana, with 120-mile-per-hour (193-km/hr) winds, where it killed another 15 people. Andrew's winds stirred up the fish-rich marshes of southern Louisiana, where the muddied waters were agitated so much that the decaying organic material overwhelmed the oxygen-rich surface layers, suffocating millions of fish. Andrew then continued to lose strength but dumped flooding rains over much of Mississippi.

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