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Check Six: Hurricane Iniki – 25 years ago

September 11, 2017

From the Wikipedia website

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Hurricane Iniki (/iːˈniːkiː/ ee-NEE-keeHawaiianʻiniki meaning “strong and piercing wind”) was the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S. state of Hawaii in recorded history.[1] Forming on September 5, 1992, during the strong 1990–95 El Niño, Iniki was one of eleven Central Pacific tropical cyclones during that season. It attained tropical storm status on September 8 and further intensified into a hurricane the next day.

After turning north, Iniki struck the island of Kauaʻi on September 11 at peak intensity; it had winds of 165 miles per hour (266 km/h) and reached Category 5 on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale. It had recorded wind gusts of 225 as evidenced by a windometer that was found blown into the forest during clean up. It was the first hurricane to hit the state since Hurricane Iwa in the 1982 season, and the first major hurricane since Hurricane Dot in 1959. Iniki dissipated on September 13 about halfway between Hawaii and Alaska.

Iniki caused around $1.8 billion (1992 USD) of damage and six deaths. At the time, Iniki was among the costliest United States hurricanes, and it remains one of the costliest hurricanes on record in the eastern Pacific. The storm struck just weeks after Hurricane Andrew, the costliest tropical cyclone ever at the time, struck Florida.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) failed to issue tropical cyclone warnings and watches 24 hours in advance. Despite the lack of early warning, only six deaths ensued. Damage was greatest on Kauaʻi, where the hurricane destroyed more than 1,400 houses and severely damaged more than 5,000. Though not directly in the path of the eye, Oʻahu experienced moderate damage from wind and storm surge.

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Related:
LA Times article, September 16, 1992
Star Bulletin article, September 8, 2002
Hawaii News Now, 20 year summary   Good videos

AccuWeather article, September 7, 2017

From → History

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