In the early morning hours of Aug. 24, 1992, the strongest hurricane to hit the United States mainland in 23 years struck the southeast coast of Florida, packing top winds 165 MPH. The powerful Category 5 storm killed 65, according to the National Weather Service.
The worst of the damage was contained to an area south of Miami in rural Dade County. In Homestead, 99 percent of the city's mobile homes were destroyed. A total of 49,000 homes in Dade County were destroyed by Andrew.
Unlike many powerful hurricanes that hit land, Andrew intensified rapidly before striking Florida. Andrew went from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in less than 48 hours. The storm officially made landfall at 5:05 a.m. on Aug. 24 near Fender Point, Florida.
Atter crossing Florida, the hurricane remained a Category 3, and continued to maintain its fury as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico. Andrew made its final landfall on Aug. 26 as a Category 3 storm in Louisiana.
Andrew is just one of three Category 5 storms to strike the United States since 1900.
Despite its stregnth, Andrew could have been a lot worse. Andrew's windfield was not nearly as large as Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. As the center of Andrew just missed South Florida's more densley populated regions, such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, the worst of the damage was in more sparcly populated areas.