The focus right now is on Hurricane Irene, and rightly so. Let's not forget, however, the 19th Anniversary of the Hurricane Andrew strike on Florida (and later Louisiana).
The Florida landfall took place at about 4:40 a.m. EDT today, August 24th, 1992, near Elliott Key, with winds of 165 mph and a minimum pressure of 926 millibars (27.30 inches of mercury).
Total damage caused by Andrew was estimated at $26.5 billion ($41.5 billion in 2011 dollars). At the the time, Andrew was only the third Category 5 hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States.
Due to the extensive damage and casualty rate (23 direct fatalities; 39 indirect fatalities) caused by Andrew, that particular storm name was retired by the National Hurricane Center and will never be used again.
Let us not forget what kind of damage a powerful hurricane can do as we closely monitor the progression of Irene in the coming days. She may not reach category 5 intensity, but she will certainly be a major storm, with major impact along much of the U.S. East Coast (including much heavier populated areas than those affected by Andrew).
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