Homestead Remembers Hurricane Andrew, Launches Virtual Reality Exhibit

Homestead became a field of destruction following Hurricane Andrew — 30 years later, it’s now a city rebuilt.

“It was just a sense of disbelief to comprehend the scope and scale of what happened,” said Homestead Mayor Steve Losner.

He was there — and so was Barbara Lola Cesar, who at five years old protected herself under a mattress.

“I remember getting scared. I remember seeing the panic in my mother and my aunt’s eyes,” Cesar said.

John Deery captured images of the damage from a helicopter. He worked for the telephone company Bellsouth and was sent up the air to survey the damage so they could restore phone service.

“I get up and look and there’s nothing to do here — everything is gone!” Deery recalled.

Deery now runs a Facebook group, “I Survived Hurricane Andrew,” which has 24,000 members who share pictures and stories from that fateful day.

“We snuck out during the eye and we could see the whole roof gone,” Deery said.

To mark the 30th year since Andrew, the Homestead Cybrarium — a library that incorporates technology — will hold a virtual reality exhibit to tell the story of what took place.

“We have updated the history timeline experience to include new footage for Hurricane Andrew,” said Rino landa, the director of the Cybrarium.

Homestead was permanently changed by Hurricane Andrew. Meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin spoke to residents who lived through the once-in-a-generation event on the storm’s 25th anniversary five years ago

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