andrew was predicted to hit in west palm beach 15 years ago. a friend of mine there came down to lauderdale to spend the night with me. little did she know she'd be driving towards the storm. we made a roast beef (i was eating meat back then) and i prepared an inside closet for us to evacuate to if need be. we'd use the mattress to shield us. and i put some left over roast beef sandwiches in there just in case.
i lived in a condo with full wall to wall & ceiling to floor glass on the south side. i had no idea that stuff could bend. it bent & bowed but didn't break. lucky us.
homestead & south miami wasn't so lucky. i had to drive down the day after and spend the next week there, reporting on damage and helping colleagues salvage what they could from their houses.
i'd never seen destruction like this before. on my first day out i had to take a break because i got literally sick to my stomach. cat fives are so powerful. i happened to be organizing old photos last night when i came across a few i took of andrew which i think illustrates well the strength of a cat 5.
here's what it did to a pine tree
and here's what it did to a reinforced concrete pole
and this just amazed me. this is two i-beams which just held up a little sign for a japanese restaurant.
so strong and so relentless that it bends steel.