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Stuart woman remembers Hurricane Andrew 25 years later

Posted at 5:29 AM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 12:41:01-04

Twenty-five years ago Thursday, Hurricane Andrew came ashore and changed lives in South Florida forever.

The Category 5 storm killed 44 people in Florida and caused nearly $25 billion in damage in the state.

RELATED: 25th anniversary of Andrew | How have building codes changed?

Diane Beatus lives in Stuart now, but lived in the Redlands area of Miami-Dade County when the hurricane slammed South Florida.

 

It was her first experience with a hurricane, and one she will never forget.

She says she remember water streaming down the walls and windows in the home getting blown out.

Beatus wasn't sure if her family was going to survive, but says she and her husband had to be brave for their three kids, all under 10-years-old at the time.

She says, "You didn't want them to know how afraid you were. Afraid that the roof was gonna go, and we're all gonna go. It was terrifying, the doors are rattling so loud it's like a freight train the whole time. It was surreal."

Beatus says they had to live in a tent on their front yard for weeks and shower by pouring gallons of water on themselves.

She was a bus driver at the time and describes what it was like to go back to work.

"In order to do my route, I literally had to count the streets as I crossed them because there was no street signs, no stop signs, no stop lights, no houses, no markers. Nothing was the same at all,” said Beatus.

She moved to Stuart in 1997 trying to get away from hurricanes, but obviously that didn't happen.

Hurricane Andrew is one of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history.