Hurricane Andrew: Storm Of The Century

2403 words - 10 pages

Imagine that a family is sitting at home watching a calm game of baseball, when suddenly they realize that a massive wall of water is approaching the neighborhood. Where did this flash flood come from, a reader might ask? The wall of water was made by the raging winds and immense power of Hurricane Andrew. Hurricane Andrew was the second most expensive storm in history that destroyed over 250,000 homes in the states of Florida and Louisiana alone. Hurricane Andrew was not predicted to make landfall, so when it did many civilians did not have any ideas that the Hurricane was coming until it was almost too late. Hurricane Andrew also caused many short and long term effects in the ecosystem and local economies.
Leading up to this storm, many prominent scientists believed that the hurricane would never make landfall, or if it did hit, would not cause any major damage. Due to this foolhardy belief held by the scientists, many civilians did not have any time to evacuate their homes and barely escaped with their loved ones and whatever small valuables or keepsakes they could grab. Regretfully, many families had to leave everything they had behind. Hurricane Andrew also damaged the livelihood of many small shop owners or farms and caused long term problems as well. Due to the large flooding and high wind speeds, much of southern Florida was left in ruin and many years were spent trying to clean the rubble and restore buildings. Hurricane Andrew also destroyed many precious ecosystems on top of all of that.
Leading up to the hurricane, many scientists expected the storm to dissipate over the ocean and cause little to no harm (Rappaport). The scientists were relying on faulty equipment that said that due to slow air speed and low temperatures the storm did not have a realistic chance of making landfall in Florida, let alone Louisiana. For this reason that meant that there were no clear evacuation protocols in place for people who might be in imminent when there should have been. The government did begin to issue a few precautionary warning to people in low-lying regions. Once it was clear that the storm would indeed hit, the government did begin to issue warnings to low-lying and coastal areas that might be hit. Though the government was slowly beginning to act, there was not any true sense of urgency in the Florida government to help anyone trying to flee the places where Hurricane Andrew was predicted to hit. General evacuation did begin in large cities such as Miami, where people with some knowledge of the size of the hurricane did begin to leave the city. As soon as many people began to hear about the size of Hurricane Andrew, an estimated number of 700 thousand people began to flee along the major highways, blocking up roads for miles on end (Pittman).
Once Hurricane Andrew finally made landfall in southern Florida, almost no one was prepared to face the hurricane’s intense fury, save for a few amount of survivors from past...

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