Hurricane Andrew left a devastating trail of destroyed communities and displaced families, forever shifting the course of countless lives in South Florida.
Twenty years later, many vividly recall the poignant images capturing the sense of loss, frustration, anger and chaos before and after the Category 5 storm.
Photographs showed anxious business owners shoring up their shops. Bleary-eyed National Guard members doling out bottled water. Dazed families rummaging through the ruins of their homes. Workers unleashing vessels aground in people's backyards.
Looking back on these memorable pictures, some South Floridians share how Andrew reshaped life for them and their loved ones.
A second chance
Tamra Giffen's first look at her mobile home community post-Andrew left her dazed and distraught.
The 1992 hurricane chewed up her community and destroyed her trailer. Her address became a huge pile of rubble surrounded by naked trees. Dressers, tables and bedding scattered amid the wreckage. Tiny shards of fiber glass from the lining of the trailer caked her clothing, making them unwearable.
"We lost everything except what we had on, and I think I had a pair of blue shorts and a white T-shirt,'' says Giffen, who was photographed comforting her daughter Caitlin, 3, the day after Andrew.
The photo shot by then-Sun Sentinel photographer Jim Virga showed them sitting on the concrete slab that was their three-bedroom trailer at Dadeland Mobile Home Park in south Miami-Dade County.
"It was devastating. The toilet was on the other block. We never found the [bird] cage. We stood there and looked at our pile. Never in your wildest dreams you'd imagined you were driving into hell."
Giffen was fortunate that she, her parents and her three children, which also included Joshua, 6, and Michael, 5, survived the storm at her uncle's Kendall house. But she had no home to return to the next day.
"I lost all the sentimental things you can't replace," she says. "My grandmother's jewelry. My children's birth certificates and footprints."
With financial and clothing donations from the Church of Christ on Quail Roost Drive, Giffen and her children temporarily relocated to another trailer park in Tavernier.
Giffen continued her job as a school bus driver in the Redland community. But instead of ferrying kids to school, she transported military personnel to devastated areas to deliver water and build tents. She remembers having her kids in the back seat of the bus during the daily trips.
Giffen lived in the Tavernier trailer park for about eight months then bought a hurricane-damaged home in Cutler Ridge.
"At least we were together. We started to try to live a normal life,'' Giffen recalls. It wasn't easy. Andrew left emotional scars for her children. They had nightmares. For a time, when they heard howling wind, they cried and crawled into her bed at night.
"I would have to reassure them that everything was fine,'' Giffen says. "They were very clingy."
Since then, Giffen's former address, off Southwest 152nd Street, has been rebuilt as a residential development called CrestView, near Zoo Miami.
Home now for Giffen, 49, is a Hallandale Beach duplex, where she lives with two young sons, Elijah Harp, 9, and Major Harp, 10. Joshua Harp, now 26, lives in Hollywood, and Michael Giffen, 25, resides in Fort Lauderdale. Daughter Caitlin Giffen is now 23 and a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Unemployed for about a year, Tamra Giffen recently started a new job as director of operations for travel accessory company Travel Blue. She also has other news to celebrate: Her daughter received her staff sergeant papers last week and she plans to apply for the police academy to one day work in Broward.
So many years after Andrew disrupted her family, Tamra Giffen is at peace with the tragedy.
"If somebody were to say to me, 'What did you get out of Hurricane Andrew?' [I'd say] what I got out of it was that things happen for a reason, and I don't know where I would be now if I wasn't devastated," she says. "I got a second chance ... Andrew really did devastate us, but tragedies bring people together."
Man's best friend
Cutler Ridge hurricane survivor Steve Saal was headed to a shelter, when he learned his cat, Dragon, wasn't allowed to join him.
Clutching the kitty in his lap, he bent over and sobbed. Sun Sentinel photographer Robert Duyos caught the moment.
"There was no way I was going to leave Dragon behind,'' Saal, who died in 2010, told the Sun Sentinel a few years ago.
Authorities eventually relented and let Saal stay in a covered porch outside a Hialeah shelter for two weeks.
"He loved that cat,'' says Saal's half-brother, Terry Landsberg, who remembered seeing the photograph of Saal with the cat in the Sun Sentinel the day after Andrew.
In fact, Landsberg, 77, of Coconut Creek says the photograph led him to reconnect with Saal, after being estranged for several years.
"He managed most of his adult life by himself, whether that was good or bad,'' Landsberg