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Hurricane Andrew was a massive hurricane in 1992 that still holds a place in history. What made this hurricane so famous, and how much destruction did it cause? Read on to find out.

Storms That Turn Deadly

Do you enjoy exciting weather? Maybe you like a good storm, with pounding rain and crashing thunder.

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However, when weather gets too extreme, things can get dangerous. Hurricanes are one example of extreme weather events that can quickly turn deadly. Though many hurricanes have caused much damage, Hurricane Andrew holds a place in history. In this lesson, learn more about Hurricane Andrew and why it is famous.

Image of Hurricane Andrew taken from satellite
Hurricane Andrew

What Is a Hurricane?

Let’s take a quick look at how a hurricane forms. A hurricane begins its life as a tropical storm known as a cyclone out in warm ocean waters.

A cyclone is a large mass of rotating clouds buzzing with thunder and lightning. It grows as it gathers energy from the warm air rising from the ocean water. As it builds with intensity, the storm becomes a giant monster with very strong winds. Once the winds reach 74 mph, it is officially a hurricane.Typical hurricane season is June 1 through November 30, although some happen at different times. Where do these monster storms occur? Hurricanes thrive in the warm, tropical waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

When they hit landfall in these areas, there is often mass destruction.

Hurricane Andrew

In August of 1992, a disturbance high in the atmosphere brewed off the coast of Africa. Fueled by the warmth of the tropical air, this new storm began gaining energy like a boulder rolling down a hill.

Three days later, it had become a swirling cyclone.On August 22, this growing giant reached hurricane wind speeds, and became known as Hurricane Andrew. It would also soon be classified as a Category 5 hurricane, the most powerful and deadly type. It first passed over the Bahamas, with tremendous wind speeds at about 160 mph. Compare this with wind gusts of average storms, which may be around 35-40 mph!Hurricane Andrew made landfall on the tip of Florida on August 24 in the city of Homestead. Winds at this time were around 150 mph, clearly enough to cause major destruction.

Andrew also brought with it about eight inches of rain to Florida. But Hurricane Andrew wasn’t ready to give up yet.

Path of Hurricane Andrew
Path of Hurricane Andrew

After passing through the tip of Florida, Hurricane Andrew continued west into the Gulf of Mexico. On August 26, Andrew again hit landfall in Louisiana.

By this time, the winds had lessened, averaging around 115 mph, and Andrew had been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane. Even as a Category 3, Andrew caused widespread damage in Louisiana and brought up to twelve inches of rain.

Damage from Hurricane Andrew

As you may guess, there was massive devastation from Hurricane Andrew. Sixty-five people lost their lives, and the severe winds caused serious damage in both Florida and Louisiana. Many of the trees in the Florida Everglades were toppled, while in Louisiana many of the major crops were ruined.In Florida, around 150,000 homes were either completely demolished or sustained significant damage. In fact, it took five years for the town of Homestead, Florida, which Hurricane Andrew completely demolished, to be rebuilt.

In all, Hurricane Andrew would cost $26.5 billion in damage, making it second only to Katrina as the most costly hurricane ever.

Many homes in Florida were damaged by Hurricane Andrew
Damage from Hurricane Andrew

Lesson Summary

Hurricane Andrew occurred in August 1992, originating as a cyclone off the coast of Africa and making landfall in Florida and Louisiana. Wind speeds were 150 mph in Florida and rainfall was up to twelve inches in Louisiana.

Major devastation occurred including 65 people dead total cost of around $26.5 billion.

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