At first, it didnt look so bad. Roy Martinez and his wife drove south on the Turnpike to assess their home in Cutler Ridge. Damage was everywhere but mostly broken windows, missing tiles, downed trees.
Then they passed warehouses at Coral Reef Drive, blown to bits like bombs had exploded. Further south, near the Cutler Ridge mall, books sucked from the library shelves littered the landscape and looters carted boxes from shattered storefronts.
When we finally got home, we could hardly say anything, said Roy Martinez, then a paramedic with the Miami Fire Department. Their roof had peeled away, ruining everything inside.
No one had been there for Andrew. Martinez had been duty until the day after Andrew. His wife and children, three dogs, one cat and a turtle had gone to her parents home. No one ever went back. Her family came down to help salvage a few things, stuffing them into garbage bags. That was it.
We never spent one day in there after Andrew, Martinez said. You couldnt even get a tarp over what was left of the roof.
Theyd been trying to sell the place for three years anyway. So they sold the gutted home as is, took the insurance settlement and joined a mass exodus from South Miami-Dade that fueled a building boom in Southwest Broward.
We were able to move up to Broward, a bigger house, a nicer house, said Martinez, who has since moved to Jupiter after retiring as a lieutenant last year. It was really a blessing in disguise.
Hurricane Andrew 20 years later
- The Intro
- The Captain
- The Emergency Manager
- In Country Walk
- At Turkey Point
- Stories of comfort
- Broward bound
- The Weatherman