We’ve been collecting stories about Hurricane Andrew from people around South Florida for our “Remembering Andrew” series. We’ve also been combing through a lot of archival sound and video, including an archive we found called “Voices of Andrew.”
In the months following Hurricane Andrew, graduate students from the University of Miami collected dozens of oral histories. The archive is called “Voices of Andrew.” It’s packed with detailed accounts from all kinds of people: teachers, insurance agents and pastors.
While we were working on ideas for stories to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, WLRN Miami Herald News journalist Rick Stone found some old tapes of his reporting after the storm. He reported many radio stories after Hurricane Andrew (you can hear some of those original stories on the players below), but one in particular inspired us.
The report Philip Grice, British consul-general, wrote about Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Click on the picture to read the full document. (Thanks to current consul-general, Kevin McGurgan, for showing us this document.)
Kevin McGurgan, current British consul-general in Miami
Credit Kevin McGurgan
Philip Grice, former British consul-general in Miami. He’s now a mayor in Wales.
A British diplomat and a diary of Hurricane Andrew.
There is a loud explosion as the roof is torn off. In my two years in Florida, this is the first time I have felt cold.
When we put out a call for Andrew stories, the British Consulate in Miami sent us a remarkable document. Kevin McGurgan, the British consul-general in Miami, was going through old papers, looking for stuff to throw out. “Buried at the bottom,” says McGurgan, “was an old file marked ‘Crisis Management: Hurricane Andrew-Lead-up, Destruction and Aftermath.’ We pulled it out and inside was this wonderful record detailing everything that the Consulate had done to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Andrew.”
We received several hundred responses when we called out to our audience for stories about Hurricane Andrew. As we learned while doing the “Remembering Andrew” project, people who experienced Hurricane Andrew still have vivid memories they are eager to share.