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Intersection: Remembering Hurricane Andrew

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Hurricane Andrew - Dadeland Mobile Home Park after passage of Andrew. Photo: NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Collection

When Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, meteorologist Bryan Norcross began a marathon 23 hour on-air shift, keeping Floridians informed as the Category 5 storm wreaked havoc on South Florida.

Norcross’s account of the storm is called My Hurricane Andrew Story: The story behind the preparation, the terror, the resilience, and the renowned TV coverage of the Great Hurricane of 1992.

Norcross tells Intersection’s Brendan Byrne that as the hurricane approached he remembered reading about a family sheltering in a laundry tub under a mattress during the great Miami hurricane of 1926.

“That mattress came back to me, and I said friends, here’s what I want you to do, I want you to get a mattress off the bed and get ready. When the time comes, you get to your safe place in the hallway, in the closet, in the bathroom, you get under that mattress and we’ll ride this out.”

“I’ve heard from hundreds or thousands of people that did that, and they all came out well,” says Norcross.

“They all came out well, but many of them moved the mattress at the end of it and saw the sky, because the house came apart around them.”

Norcross also reflects on the way new technology has changed the way people get hurricane information, and whether Floridians today are really prepared for a big storm.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »