Miami-Dade County

These photos will bring back memories of Hurricane Andrew’s destruction in South Dade

New photo book, ‘Hurricane,’ by Barry Fellman details destruction of Hurricane Andrew at Tamiami Airport. He will be at a panel Saturday at Miami Book Fair.
New photo book, ‘Hurricane,’ by Barry Fellman details destruction of Hurricane Andrew at Tamiami Airport. He will be at a panel Saturday at Miami Book Fair.

Like many South Floridians, Barry Fellman lived through Hurricane Andrew. He was 30 at the time and lived near Country Walk, the Southwest Miami-Dade subdivision decimated by the Category 5 hurricane in August 1992.

After the storm had passed, it was impossible to drive or go anywhere so Fellman went exploring and found himself by Tamiami Airport, cluttered with the remains of small private planes.

Amid all the chaos and destruction, Fellman saw art.

He started taking photos with a large-format 4x5 camera, capturing the twisted shapes and torn fuselages that had once ferried pilots and passengers in the skies.

After a while, he pushed the photos to the back of his mind.

“I remembered the pictures on the 20th anniversary,” he said. “So I found them.”

For the 20th anniversary of the storm — Aug. 24, 2012 — Fellman held an exhibition for his photographs in Homestead. He watched how people recalled their memories of the storm, telling stories about their harrowing moments.

He decided he would catalog his photos and produce them in a book, “Hurricane,’’ which will debut at this year’s Miami Book Fair at Miami Dade College.

“Hurricane” chronicles the destruction at what is now Miami Executive Airport, 12800 SW 145th Ave., with 35 large-format images showing the damage wrought on the planes and hangars at the airport.

Six of the photographs are on display at The Porch, the book fair’s open-air cafe that features live music, readings, food and craft beer.

“[It’s an] opportunity for the readers to have the experience I had when I walked from plane to plane,” Fellman said.

The book also features two essays, one by the chief meteorologist at then WTVJ-NBC, Bryan Norcross, who remained on the air from 9 a.m. Aug. 23, 1992, through 8 a.m. Aug. 24, calming listeners throughout the storm. He now works for The Weather Channel.

“I wrote what I remember of the storm,” Norcross said in a phone interview.

He said he was happy to be involved in the book because it showed the “power of the storm in a different way.”

Norcross has his own book, “My Hurricane Andrew Story: The story behind the preparation, the terror, the resilience, and the renowned TV coverage of the Great Hurricane of 1992,” which recounts his personal experience about covering the storm.

Fellman and Norcross will speak about Hurricane Andrew at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the book fair.

Art critic Vicki Goldberg wrote the second essay. She wrote that the tangled images of the airplanes were almost as if nature was saying, “You thought you owned the sky. You were wrong. The air, the sky, belong to me.”

But, she said, those terrifying images could be considered beautiful.

To Fellman, the book brings back all those memories from Andrew: “The story is my experience of being there in this unreal landscape.”

If you go

What: Hurricane Andrew, 25 years later

When: Barry Fellman will discuss his new book, “Hurricane,’’ with meterologist Bryan Norcross at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Miami Book Fair, Room 7128, Building 7, first floor, Miami Dade College, 300 NE Second Ave.