'It was awful': Florida woman recalls the ‘complete destruction’ Hurricane Andrew caused 30 years ago
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - A South Florida woman who survived Hurricane Andrew alongside her husband and newborn son will never forget the devastation caused by the storm as it blew across the southern portion of the state 30 years ago.
Donna Morrison felt the power of Hurricane Andrew firsthand.
"It was awful. It was just total and complete destruction," explained the 60-year-old grandmother from Homestead.
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Thirty years ago she was the mother of a 5 week-old baby. She clutched Zachary in her arms as the monster hurricane roared in with a vengeance.
Donna Morrison's son Zachary was only 5 weeks old when Hurricane Andrew blew across South Florida.
"When you fear for your life and you have a child it’s beyond scary," she shared.
As the wind howled, Donna and her husband searched for a safe place in their house.
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"I had taken him into the bathroom where I thought we were going to stay," she explained. "I took a few clothes and blankets and I had some bottles and formula."
A satellite image shows Hurricane Andrew moving across South Florida.
But when water pipes broke and part of the ceiling came down, they had few options.
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"My husband said the only thing I know to do is get in the car in the garage," she recalled.
Donna clutched Zachary and ran to the garage.
A car sits in the middle of what's left of a garage after Hurricane Andrew blew across South Florida.
"We just sat in the car praying and singing Amazing Grace," shared Donna, choking back tears. "All I can think about is are we really going to make it out of this?"
Would their young family perish in this killer storm?
A man stands in the middle of rubble left by Hurricane Andrew.
"Once the roof fell in onto the car, my husband turned to me and said I don’t know if we’re going to make it or not. I love you," she stated.
Thirty years after Andrew flattened their neighborhood, their house still stands. It’s repaired and a lasting reminder.
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"You just don’t know how precious life is until you go through something like that," said Morrison.
Donna Morrison's son Zachary is 30 years old now and has a family of his own.
The baby who survived Hurricane Andrew is now 30. Zachary has his own family. He doesn’t remember the storm.
But, when Donna looks at him, she remembers her baby and her family’s Hurricane Andrew survival story.