The Miami Herald

Hurricane Andrew Search: Are you Debbie from Kendall?

With the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew coming up, we could use your help tracking down a famous voice from the storm – a woman known as “Debbie from Kendall.”

We know three basic things about Debbie from Kendall:

Her name is Debbie.

She’s from Kendall.

And 20 years ago she called Bryan Norcross, former WTVJ weatherman, in the middle of Hurricane Andrew.

Norcross took the call on-air just moments after Debbie’s roof caved in. “Nobody should go out,” Norcross coaches the young-sounding woman, “the storm is going to be with you for some time yet.”

There’s a beat of silence before Debbie responds, despondent: “Oh, God.”

There aren’t a ton of recordings from the middle of Hurricane Andrew. Debbie’s call is one of the most honest and vulnerable Andrew moments I’ve heard or seen on tape.

Norcross, now with The Weather Channel, says he couldn’t imagine what the callers must have been going through.

“It’d be like being in a war,” he said in a recent interview, “and you’re just trying to think, ‘is there anybody who can tell me should I turn right or turn left, because both of them look bad to me.’”

We can use any help possible tracking down Debbie from Kendall.

WLRN-Miami Herald News is working on an hour-long radio documentary called Remembering Andrew. It’ll air on 91.3-FM on August 24th — the 20th anniversary of the storm. And we want to interview “Debbie from Kendall.”

The one additional detail Debbie provides in the video is that she says she lives at “137th and 111th Street.” From Google Maps, it looks like that would have to be the intersection of Southwest 137th Place and 111th Street (Southwest 137th Avenue doesn’t intersect 111th Street).

If you know who Debbie from Kendall is, if you know if she’s still around, if you are Debbie from Kendall, shoot me an email: kmalone@miamiherald.com.

You can watch video footage of the call; it’s 19:46 into this YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9WcQSfW2YU&feature=plcp




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