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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


July 11, 1993

ICARE

I wasn't really sure what I would find when I got into South Dade County and the path of Hurricane Andrew. I had been told that there was a volunteer center in Cutler Ridge that took people out to rebuild the damaged homes. The ride through Miami was okay. I found out that there was a pretty good paved bike path that followed Miami's elevated tram line heading southward to Coral Gables along US 1.

When I got on US 1 in Coral Gables, I was amazed to see all of the damage that was still visible even after a year after Hurricane Andrew. There was broken glass on the edge of the roadways, trash every where, no street signs, and the general area looked like a battle field. There was rebuilding every where going on especially along the highways.

The farther you got away from the major highways the less rebuilding you would see. There were blue tarps over all of the houses and apt. buildings. Houses and other buildings had been abandoned. People were living in tents and RV's in front of their damaged houses. Also, there were piles of trash at least five feet tall. Dump trucks were all over the place filled to the brim with trash and debris from buildings on the way to the dump. The top of the dump was the highest spot in Southern Florida and it the dump was given the nickname of "Mt. Trashmore".

When I got to Cutler Ridge, I got directions to the volunteer center. The center was called I-CARE. This was the acronym for the "Inter-Faith Coalition for the Andrew Recovery Effort". It had been opened up just a couple of days after the hurricane by the Samaritan's Purse ministry.

The center had been at a time a wild animal recovery - veterinary center. Also at one time, it radar and missile base during the sixties. There were ducks, peacocks, and an alligator that was supposed to live in a pond. Most of the buildings at the center were temporary ones. Huge army tents were up on platforms. The only permanent buildings were a warehouse left over from the base, an office, a bathhouse, kitchen and dining hall. People had come down to volunteer in RV's. I had planned to at least try and stay here a week to volunteer.




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