Broadcast Journalism: Write to the Bite
Information Sheet for VO Script
Material based on information about Hurricane Iniki
Category Four on Saffir-Simpson scale
Winds: 145 mph, gusts up to 175 mph
Storm tides: 4.5 to 6.3 feet above normal
20-35 foot storm waves
Water levels: 22 feet – 29 feet above mean lower low water
Eye crossed Kauai Coast west of Port Allen just before 4PM HST
Originally named Tropical Depression 18-E, it tracked across northern South America and Central America and into the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 28, according to National Weather Service records. On Sept. 8 it was upgraded to a tropical storm and named Iniki.
On Sept. 9 it was upgraded to Hurricane Iniki.
On the morning of Sept. 10, Iniki passed 300 miles south of South Point on the Big Island moving west and slowing and strengthening.
On the afternoon of Sept. 10, Iniki turned more and more to the northwest. Hurricane warnings were issued for Kauai and Niihau at 8:30 p.m. Iniki continued to turn even more northward. By 11 a.m. on Sept. 11, the eye of Iniki was southwest of Lihue, and its track had turned north-northeast, swinging directly toward Kauai. At 3 p.m., Iniki was 37 miles southwest of Lihue. At 3:30 p.m. the eye of the hurricane crossed the south coast of Kauai just east of Waimea, moved over the island on a compass course of 15 degrees at a speed of 25 mph and departed Haena on the north coast 40 minutes later.
Iniki continued to move north, weakened and ceased to be strong enough to be considered a danger by Sept. 13.
Damage was extensive throughout the island, but the most dramatic was ocean damage along the south shore around the Poipu resort district where hotels and condominiums were ripped apart.
According to FEMA figures, of 20,000 homes on Kauai, 1,200 were destroyed and 11,700 were damaged. More than 7,000 people were left homeless.
About 7,200 units in Kauai's 70 hotels and time-share resorts were damaged. Electricity and telephone service was lost throughout the island, and only 20 percent of the island had power four weeks after the storm. Kauai Electric lost 450 of its 1,700 transmission poles, 5,550 of it 15,000 distribution poles and 280 of its 800 miles of distribution wire.
All radio stations, including the Civil Defense station, were knocked off the air. Both microwave towers providing long-distance telephone service were destroyed. Much of the island's water supply was contaminated, creating a major problem for the 15,000 Kauai residents who sought refuge at storm shelters.
Crop damage was extensive. Luckily, most of 1992's sugar crop already had been harvested. The monetary value of the storm damage was set at $3 billion.
September 5-13, 1992 (HURRICANE INIKI)
Damage was extensive throughout Kauai. Damage from the ocean was heaviest along the south shore of Kauai and affected shoreline hotels and condominiums, especially around Poipu. Wind damage was extremely heavy throughout Kauai, as many homes and buildings were flattened or lost their roofs. According to Red Cross figures, INIKI left 14,350 damaged or destroyed homes on Kauai. The number of homes that were completely destroyed was 1,421. A total of 63 homes were destroyed by wave action or storm surge on the south coast of Kauai. The number suffering major damage was 5,152 while 7,178 received minor damage.
Electric power and telephone service were lost throughout the island and only 20 percent of power had been restored four weeks after the storm. Crop damage was likewise extensive, as sugar cane was stripped or severely set back, while tender tropical plants, such as banana and papaya, were destroyed and fruit and nut trees were broken or uprooted. The monetary value of the damage caused by INIKI was still mounting, having reached an estimated value of close to $3 billion at the time of this writing.
The areas most affected on Oahu were the leeward coast from Barbers Point through Makaha and Kaena Point with lesser damage along the south shore from Ewa Beach to Hawaii Kai. Some damage also occurred on the islands of Maui County and the Big Island of Hawaii, where swell and heavy surf from southwesterly directions pounded exposed shorelines and anchorage's.
There were six deaths connected to the storm. One woman on Kauai died of a heart attack when a portion of her house fell on her, a man was killed by flying debris when he was out during the storm, two Japanese nationals drowned when their boat was capsized in waters off Kauai, one person died on Oahu when his residence was set on fire by a candle used for light, and a National Guardsman was killed when his truck overturned while trying to avoid live wires during the storm cleanup. More than one hundred people were injured, some after the storm when the cleanup began.
Hawaii Hurricane Devastates Kauai
Iniki Blamed For 3 Deaths, Scores of Injuries
By Al Kamen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 13, 1992; Page A01
? The Washington Post
Search and rescue teams, medical supplies, food and other items were rushed yesterday to the state of Hawaii as residents began to clean up the devastation of Hurricane Iniki, the strongest to hit the island chain this century.
Three people were reported killed and 98 injured, officials said. Two of the dead were on the island of Kauai, according to Mayor JoAnn Yukimura, who did not provide details. She estimated property damage on the island at more than $500 million, and Gov. John D. Waihee III put the total for the state at $1 billion.
"I saw total devastation. It broke my heart," the Associated Press quoted Yukimura as saying after she and Waihee returned to Lihue Airport from an aerial tour. "Our whole island is really devastated. It was islandwide. There is incredible human suffering in terms of loss of homes and dislocation of their lives."
Waihee said the beachfront houses and businesses in the heavily developed Poipu area on the island's south shore were destroyed by 20-foot waves. "Where once you saw a beautiful beach park, now you don't see it," he said, referring to Brennecke's Beach, which was restored after being destroyed by Hurricane Iwa in 1982.
"Hurricane Iwa was just a preliminary compared to this," AP quoted Waihee as saying.
At Waihee's request, President Bush declared most of the state a federal disaster area. White House spokeswoman Laura Melillo said Bush's declaration meant that federal funding would be available for temporary housing and that grants and low-cost loans could cover uninsured property losses.