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September 11, 1992 - Hurricane Hammers Hawaii...Then Retires

Friday, September 11th 2020, 6:02 am - The name Iniki was retired because of the damage it caused, replaced by Iolana in the central-north Pacific tropical storm list.

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The word iniki means "strong and piercing wind" in Hawaiian and this was definitely the case on Sept. 11, 1992. Iniki formed on Sept. 5 and was one of 11 central Pacific tropical cyclones during that season. It strengthened into a proper tropical storm on Sept. 8, and then the next day, it intensified again, but this time into a hurricane.

On Sept. 11, 1992, after turning north, Iniki struck the island of Kauai as a Category 4 hurricane, packing sustained winds of 145 m.p.h. (233 km/h), with gusts reaching a staggering 225 m.p.h. (362 km/h).

Hurricane Iniki/NOAA Hurricane Iniki at peak intensity on Sept. 11. This image was produced from data from NOAA-11. Photo: NOAA.

Only six deaths were reported. The greatest damage incurred was on Kauaʻi, where the hurricane destroyed more than 1,400 houses while also severely damaging more than 5,000 others. The name Iniki was retired because of the damage it caused, replaced by Iolana in the central-north Pacific tropical storm list.

An interesting sidebar story: Jurassic Park was being filmed in Hawaii at the time. The cast and crew took shelter in a hotel while the sets used for what became a deleted scene were destroyed. But shots of Hurricane Iniki did make the final cut of the hit 1993 motion picture.

Hurricane Iniki Damage from Hurricane Iniki.

On today's podcast, Chris Mei discusses the power of Hurricane Iniki, the damage it caused and why the name was retired from the tropical storm list.

"This Day In Weather History” is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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