Lost and Found

Fri, Jul 27, 2012

Hurricane Andrew




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BY LUC COHEN

Manny Alen’s plane after Hurricane Andrew (Photo from Hurricane Andrew: Path of Destruction)



When Hurricane Andrew hit, Debbie Wehking from Kendall was relieved that the people in her life were okay, but as the years went by, Wehking started to miss some of the things Andrew took away.

It’s only as time has past that I’ve realized that little things can have an important sentimental value.

We asked you what you lost during Hurricane Andrew that was of sentimental value.    WLRN-Miami Herald News intern, Luc Cohen, produced this story about what listeners lost during the storm.

Debbie Wehking lost records she’d collected as a teenager, including the White Album by the Beatles and a collection of Led Zeppelin records. Today, her sons are big Led Zeppelin fans. She knows they would really enjoy having those records.

Irene Chen lost a keepsake she received after her son was born. It was a ceramic shoe with her baby’s name on it.

I put it on his dresser and I just kept it there. When I got back the dresser was there but everything that was on the dresser was gone.

Manny Alen, a pilot, had just purchased a new plane and flown it down to Miami right before the storm. He lost that plane, in addition to a second one, in the hurricane.  Both planes were parked at Tamiami Airport; after the storm, the airport looked like a child’s Lego town after a temper tantrum.

I saw what was left of my airplane. The airplane had flipped over. All I could see were the dirty wheels up in the air, and the beautiful airframe out of shape in pieces. On the ground.

Tamiami Airport after Hurricane Andrew (Photo from Hurricane Andrew: Path of Destruction)

Andrew may have taken many things away, but Eduardo and Virginia de Varona of West Miami found something after the storm. A blue and gold patio umbrella from Corona, the beer, turned up in their backyard. Virginia says,

Having the umbrella that we could open up and have it be part of our pool parties was kind of like a nice twist to an ugly experience.

They sat under the umbrella for family pool parties and Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) gatherings for 19 years after Andrew.


RELATED LINKS

The story behind Ron Magill’s iconic photo of the flamingos in the bathroom

An hour-by-hour account of Hurricane Andrew is discovered in the British Consulate




This summer marks 20 years since Hurricane Andrew. And each week, we’re bringing you a story in our Remembering Andrew series.

Do you have your own Hurricane Andrew story to share? Whether they’re long or short, we need your stories for our “Remembering Andrew” series.  Share your story through the Public Insight Network.

Support for Remembering Andrew on WLRN comes from Best Roofing, South Florida’s forensic roof specialists.

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Remembering Andrew is about sharing your stories for the 20th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.


To share your Hurricane Andrew story, submit it to the Public Insight Network.


Visit the Remembering Andrew homepage for blog posts, pictures, and to stream Remembering Andrew radio pieces online

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