Toll was extensive

Hurricane Iniki made landfall on Kauai on Sept. 11, 1992.

Estimated maximum sustained winds over land were 140 miles per hour with gusts as high as 175 miles per hour, making Iniki the most powerful hurricane to strike the Hawaiian Islands in recent history.

Kauai was left with extensive damage islandwide. Damage from wave action was heaviest along the southern coast. Wind damage was “extremely heavy” throughout the island, with many homes and buildings flattened or without a roof, according to NOAA.

The Red Cross reported the hurricane left 14,350 homes on Kauai destroyed or damaged. There were 1,421 homes completely destroyed, 63 of them by wave action or storm surge on the south coast. A total of 5,152 homes suffered major damage and 7,178 homes suffered minor damage.

The mountains turned brown, stripped of vegetation. Trees were broken or uprooted all around the island. The ocean was littered with debris for weeks following the storm.

Thousands of poles had been downed by the storm. Four weeks after Iniki, 80 percent of the island still didn’t have power and a large portion of the island was without telephone service.

Statewide, the monetary value of the damage was close to $3 billion, with the majority of losses on Kauai, according to NOAA.

More than 100 people were injured because of ‘Iniki, some of them during cleanup efforts. Six people died in connection with the storm, according to NOAA.

Two people died on land on Kauai during the storm: A woman suffered a heart attack when a portion of her house fell on her, and a man was killed by flying debris.

In waters off Kauai, two Japanese nationals drowned after their boat capsized.

On Oahu, a man died when his residence caught on fire because of a lighted candle used for illumination.

During the storm cleanup efforts, a National Guardsman was killed when his truck overturned while he was trying to avoid live wires.

After crossing Kauai, Iniki continued north. At about 500 miles north of Kauai, the hurricane had weakened, but it still had maximum winds of 80 knots.

On Sept. 13, Iniki was downgraded to a tropical storm and later was considered extratropical as it continued north and entangled itself with a low pressure system and cold front.


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