Surviving Hurricane Andrew: A local man's story

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Category 5 storms are the rarest of all hurricanes. Live through a storm with winds in excess of 157 mph, and you'll have a story to tell for the rest of your life.

"The fear when you're that young and you see your parents are concerned and have been running around in the house, trying to board up the windows and keep water from coming in the house, those are scary, scary things," said Randy Lindstrom, who is a Hurricane Andrew survivor.

Andrew happened in the quiet Hurricane Season of 1992.

There were only six named storms that year, four of which became hurricanes. It's proof that it only takes one because Andrew, the Category 5 monster, remains the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history.

"My uncle was in Homestead where it really got pounded, and those areas down there were completely devastated," said Lindstrom. "If you look at tornado damage that's happened in the Midwest, those houses are completely gutted and that's what that area of town looked like, but it wasn't just a mile stretch."

Luckily Lindstrom and his family were not in the direct path of the eye, but it came close enough. The Lindstroms protected their house and made it through Andrew with just some minor cosmetic damage to the dwelling.

An 8-foot shed in the yard was not so lucky. It was blown several blocks away, and it contained a box with a Nativity, hand painted by Randy Lindstrom's great-grandmother.

"Everything that was inside stayed exactly where it was," said Lindstrom. "We had a box kind of fall, and the only thing that was missing, baby Jesus' arms broke off, but besides that, it's still in great shape. We still have it, and we still put it out at Christmas."

How does someone who survived one of the most powerful hurricanes on Earth prepare for the next one?

"If you do your due diligence and you cover up the windows and do what you can," said Lindstrom. "You hope for the best and you prepare for the worst. That's all you can do."