After Hurricane Andrew, ice became a precious commodity and a flashpoint of conflict.
Power was out, food was spoiling/rotting, and federal aid hadn’t arrived yet.
Deborah Gray Mitchell spent those first sticky days cleaning up debris outside her home in Belle Meade.
My friend brought us this gallon jug of ice, and in that gallon jug where it had melted a little bit was a little bit of water that that we could use to whet our whistle. It was just the most refreshing, happiest moment of my life to have a nice, cold drink of water.
We’ve been listening to your stories and memories of Hurricane Andrew and life afterward. Many people have told us that one of their strongest memories from after the storm is how neighbors–who might have usually just walked from their car to their door without saying hello–banded together.
In one Cutler Bay neighborhood, people were already friendly and helpful. As the storm was coming, they helped each other put up shutters. But after the storm, the neighbors became a kind of surrogate family.
We’re psyched to be able to share a piece of archival Hurricane Andrew ephemera from a familiar voice for some South Florida radio listeners. Joe Johnson has been a DJ at Majic 102.7 for the last 25 years. He hosts the nationally syndicated “Beatle Brunch” show.
For Susan Holtzman, the really terrifying parts of Hurricane Andrew didn’t begin until the day after the storm. Susan was nine months pregnant at Baptist Hospital in Kendall. It was the day before she was due to give birth.
One of the most iconic images of Hurricane Andrew is a photograph of flamingos, huddling on their toothpick legs in a tiled bathroom. Ron Magill, now communications director for Zoo Miami, snapped that picture after he and other staff (of then Miami Metrozoo) rounded up the flamingos and put them in the bathroom for safety.
I remember thinking, gosh, you know, this hurricane better come after all this work because I’m working my butt off and it better not be for nothing.
Geoffrey Philp shared his story and poem about an old transistor radio with Kenny Malone on WLRN. Philp inherited that radio from his mother, who carried it with her from home to home, even as they moved in Jamaica and later, around Florida.
It was the radio he listened to during Hurricane Andrew. Even though the radio no longer works, Philp can’t bring himself to get rid of it.
Philp is a poet, novelist, playwright and English professor at Miami-Dade College. Below is an homage he wrote to his mother.