Back to the Herald’s Future – Part 7

This is the 7th part of an examination of a piece published in The Miami Herald’s Tropic Magazine in 1988. The piece was written as a fictional look back over the 20-year period between 2008 and 1988. As we have seen some of the events described by the author, John Dorschner, have actually come to pass.
Intro, Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

The U.S. Hurricane Center, of course, had been warning about it for years.
But few were ready on Sept. 1, 1993, when Hurricane Eugene blasted South Florida, crushing the coast with top winds of 132 miles per hour. It was the most brutal storm to hit the area in almost 30 years (since Cleo, in 1964). Many didn’t heed the warnings to evacuate Miami Beach and Key Biscayne in time.
Altogether, 47 died. Property damage ran well over $800 million. Some oceanfront high-rises that were supposed to withstand any storm collapsed. (Later, inspectors discovered their developers had secretly violated building codes.) Viceland was virtually destroyed.
Occurring a mere 6 weeks apart, the Conflagration and the storm were “a horrendous 1-2 punch to the economy,” as Time magazine noted in its cover story on South Florida, entitled Paradise Lost, Again.

John Dorschner came so close to predicting what would actually happen that it’s eerie. In an article where the author was trying to predict the events of a 20 year span, he nailed that a major hurricane would strike south Florida to within 13 months. While it seems that we’re always in danger of being struck by hurricane, the fact is that in 1988 when Dorschner wrote this it had been 25 years since the last “big one”
Hurricane Andrew missed hitting Miami directly and instead hit Homestead and Florida City. 15 direct and 25 indirect deaths were credited to the storm and the damages were much more costly than Dorschner predicted (estimated at $30 Billion).
Interestingly Dorschner did not include any footnotes in this small excerpt. As we have seen, many of his predictions came from interviewing experts which he credited in footnotes. Apparently, he just guessed correctly.
Part 8 coming soon.

7 thoughts on “Back to the Herald’s Future – Part 7”

  1. And Andrew had winds a good deal higher than 132 mph. It was a Cat 5 when it hit if I recall correctly…

  2. You are correct, it was a Cat 5. Had Andrew’s eye made landfall 15 miles farther north, Dorschner’s prediction of doom and gloom would have fallen far short.

  3. Actually Andrew doesn’t fit th criteria of Hurricane Eugene, in it’s urban and suburban
    devastation; Viceland was never built, The Marlins never did anywhere near as well as the Flamingoes; track record is maybe.150 to be charitable

  4. Narciso79,
    I’m sorry but you are wrong.
    So far Dorschner predicted that the south florida would get a major league baseball team in 1992 and we got one in 1993. He predicted that team would win a world series within 8 seasons. It won one within 5. He predicted that Cuban defectors would play a critical role in the success of the team on the field. Livan Hernandez who was a Cuban defector was the MVP of the 1997 Marlins World Series win.
    He predicted a major hurricane would hit in 1993. One did hit in 1992. He predicted another race riot in 1993. We had one in 1989.
    He predicted viceland (an amusement park) would open on Watson Island. What’s on Watson Island today?
    He predicted another immigration crisis from Cuba which he called Mariel II. We had the rafter crisis which was essentially a smaller scale replay of Mariel.
    He predicted an immigration pact with Cuba in which the US would take 18,000 Cubans per year. We have exactly such pact in which we take 20,000 Cubans per year.
    The guy isn’t nostradamus but his batting average is much higher than you want to give him credit for. Period.

  5. He’s still with the Herald, and as a matter of fact I’m having lunch with him on Wed.
    I met him before when I was researching because he and a colleague wrote a book about the Cuban Revolution called “the winds of December” that I used as one of my principal sources.

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