HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Hurricane Andrew changed everything when it comes to how authorities respond to hurricane damage. During Andrew, Homestead was ground zero. The damage there was unprecedented. WINK News anchor, Lois Thome went back to Homestead one year after Andrew and showed us that it still looked like the storm had just hit.
We visited with two families one year after Hurricane Andrew leveled much of Homestead and it looked like the storm had just hit.
Slow response from insurance companies, code enforcement problems and unscrupulous builders made it impossible for Homestead to rebound quickly.
"You've got to be careful, people come by to fix things they've got no permits... and stuff like that," explained resident Jim Lawrence.
And the slow recovery led to other problems like increased crime including looting and fraud.
A year after Hurricane Andrew it was discovered that many of the residents in FEMA's mobile home park in Homestead didn't live in Florida when Andrew hit.
Even though the people we visited one year after were still struggling to recover, their experience helped an entire state improve its response to disaster.