The last Category Five Hurricane to hit South Florida was Andrew in 1992. It was one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. and it changed the face of South Florida.
Hurricane Andrew hit land on August 24th, 1992. It's eye came ashore 25 miles south of Miami with wind gusts up to 168 miles per hour. Destruction was widespread. Huge boats were tossed like toys, neighborhoods were flattened. For miles, buildings and homes were destroyed and damaged.
"The devastation down there was just beyond. I mean we saw giant concrete power lines, poles just laying on the road," said Dirk Mooth, who was a new photographer with WTVJ in Miami at the time. "You saw boats washed inland in people's backyards and sitting in people's swimming pools and freighters that had come up out of the bay. It was just, it was incomprehensible."
He lived south of Miami in Kendall, which was north of where Andrew's eye made landfall in Florida City. But his home, like most in his neighborhood, was severely damaged.
The roof was torn off the back and his possessions were left to the elements.
One of the strangest things he noticed was losing landmarks. With signs, buildings, trees and houses down, it was difficult finding your way around, Mooth recalled. Many people did not have insurance and simply abandoned their damaged homes.