Analysis Of The Context And Impact Of Hurricane Andrew Climate Class Research Paper

1423 words - 6 pages

The Context and Recovery Efforts of Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Andrew was a Mid-Atlantic hurricane that most notably affected South
Florida, but also affected Louisiana and several Caribbean islands in 1992 [3]. At the height of its
destruction, Hurricane Andrew was listed as a category 5 hurricane, and at the time, was the
costliest natural disaster in the United States’ history with a total damage cost of approximately
$25 billion [2]. The storm had significant long-term effects on the South Florida community, and
reshaped the course of the city forever. To better understand the impact of Hurricane Andrew and
how it changed the South Florida community, and the country in general, I am going to be
providing an analysis of the historical and geological context of Andrew, as well as an analysis of
the recovery, reconstruction, and future preparedness efforts.
South Florida has always been a very active and susceptible area for hurricanes, and has a
deep-rooted history of these storms. The first ever hurricane to be officially recorded in South
Florida was a category 1 storm that made landfall in 1903 [1]. Since then, there has been an
additional 35 hurricanes to hit the area, with Hurricane Andrew being the 28th during that time
span [1]. While Andrew is said to have a profound effect on South Florida, the same can be said
about many of the other hurricanes to hit this region. The 1928 Hurricane was the most
catastrophic hurricane to impact the state of Florida, in terms of the amount of deaths. The
category 4 storm made landfall just north of Miami in Palm Beach, and moved westward over
Lake Okeechobee, driving all of the water to one side of the lake, which combined with the
intense amount of rainfall, caused a massive flood killing 1,836 [1]. The Labor Day Hurricane
was a category 5 storm that struck the Florida Keys in 1935, with most of the damage coming as
a result of a storm surge that reached as high as 20ft, killing 408 [1]. The last notable hurricane
that occured before Andrew was Hurricane Donna, which hit the west coast of Florida as a
category 4 hurricane and careened northeastward, eventually sweeping over central Florida.
Donna caused only 13 deaths, but was the costliest natural disaster in Florida prior to Hurricane
Andrew [1]. South Florida went a few decades without experiences a major hurricane, which
accounts for the lack preparation that many South Floridians had before it struck. Looking at the
dates of all the hurricanes to have hit South Florida, the overwhelming majority of them struck
right in the midst of hurricane season, in August and September. Hurricane Andrew, of course,
followed this trend and made landfall in South Florida on August 22, 1992 [5].
1928 Hurricane 1935 Labor Day
Hurricane Donna, 1960
There are several factors
that explain why South Florida has
always been vulnerable to extensive
damage and economic losses from
hurricanes, and ultimately why
Andrew was able to produce...

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