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>> It was exactly as they say. You feel as though a freight train is going across the house.>> A city that was flattened by one hurricane 25 years ago, hopes it's strong enough to withstand another. I'm Andy Sullivan in Homestead, Florida, a city that was nearly wiped off the map by Hurricane Andrew, back in 1992.
Since then, the city has rebuilt and expanded, dramatically, from a farm town to a Miami exurb of more than 60,000 people. What were once potato fields, are now subdivisions. And all this new construction needs to adhere to some of the tightest building codes in the country, including City Hall behind me.
They need special hurricane resistant glass and cables to tie the roof to the foundation so it's less likely to blow off in high winds. Those standards also apply elsewhere across south Florida, like in downtown Miami where construction cranes have to be able to withstand winds up to 145 miles per hour.
That, in theory, should limit damages, but there's a lot more to get damaged than there was in 1992. The population has grown by one third since then, and total property is now worth more than $1.2 trillion. Hurricane Andrew was the costliest storm in US history. One insurer estimates that Hurricane Irma's likely to do twice the damage this time.
Andrew destroyed more than 99% of all mobile homes in Homestead. Now, residents of this trailer park under orders to evacuate, other's opting to hunker down rather that try to outrun the storm. Even Delroy Sherley, who says he had to get rescued by helicopter from Mississippi during hurricane Katrina, in 2005.
>> Cuz I've been through one, I try to tell my wife what it's like, it's crazy. But she's there, she's a nurse, so she can't leave.>> Many residents tell me that they think they'll be safe in their new houses built to these tighter building codes, but there's no telling what will happen when winds of 150 miles an hour or more hit.
They're justifiably concern, not only about the storm, but about the aftermath as well. Homestead resident Michael Littman says he's keeping a pistol by his side. He remembers the days chaos after Andrew struck and he's worried that public order could breakdown again.>> I've seen anarchy here before. I've seen situations where the police didn't have control of this place.
It's shocking to see what happens when you take away the thin veneer of civilization.