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He'll Never Forget Hurricane Andrew And How The Community Came Together Afterward

Victor Vincent remembers Hurricane Andrew well, even after 25 years.

At the time, he was working at the Miami Science Museum and living with his girlfriend, now wife, in Miami's Country Walk. 

Close to 90 percent of the houses in Country Walk were destroyed during the storm, including Vincent's. Many homeowners ended up suing the developer, Arvida, for poor construction.  Miami-Dade County adopted stricter building codes, but the damage had already been done. 

As difficult as it was to clean up the pieces of his home, Vincent found comfort in the acts of good Samaritans. 

WLRN spoke to Vincent at the opening of HistoryMiami's Hurricane Andrew: 25 Years Later exhibit in our Miami Stories audio recording booth. Below is what he told us in the booth: 

The aerial shot that was the cover of the Miami Herald included my home.

Country Walk became a bit of a tourist attraction. People came by all the time just to look and see what had happened. You saw all kinds of people that came through.

I’ll always remember two guys who showed up in a big white pickup truck and they set up on the other side of 137th avenue, over by the lakes. And they put up a barbecue. And they were cooking hamburgers and hot dogs and had coolers full of cokes and drinks.

And I kinda watched them for a while and at the end of the day I walked over and said,

“Can I get a hot dog?”

“Sure.”

I said, “How much?”

“Nothing.”

“Are you guys with the Red Cross or something?”

“No we just woke up this morning.”

And….and they um, took 500 bucks, went to BJs and bought coolers full of drinks and ice and I think they live up in Broward and Palm Beach, drove on down and did this. No thanks, except I remember them.

This story, as told by Victor Vincent is part of an oral history series called "Miami Stories"- a partnership with HistoryMiami museum.

You can hear all the stories we collected and aired on WLRN for the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew here: 

Katie Lepri Cohen is WLRN's engagement editor. Her work involves distributing and amplifying WLRN's journalism on social media, managing WLRN's social accounts, writing and editing newsletters, and leading audience-listening efforts. Reach out via email at klcohen@wlrnnews.org.
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