Local Connection: Hurricane Iniki Anniversary

It's a chilling coincidence that Florida is absorbing the impact of a major hurricane exactly 25 years after Kauai took the brunt of Hurricane Iniki.

Iniki was the most powerful storm ever to hit Hawaii and one of the most powerful ever recorded in the United States. A destroyed wind gauge registered at over 200 miles an hour. It destroyed over a thousand homes and 8,000 people needed emergency shelter after the storm.

Iniki caught many people by surprise, including weather forecasters, by quickly turning north and gaining strength. Kauai had barely 24 hours warning. Even though the island itself is small – and residents didn't have far to go if they wanted to evacuate – thousands of tourists were stranded.

Experts say forecasters are much better at predicting the strength and path of major storms. Most homes are better built, and it seems after several major disasters, the government is better prepared and organized.

But one thing that has not changed is human nature. We tend to become complacent to forget how bad a hurricane can be, especially after 25 years.

But today we don't have to look far to see what a hurricane can do to even the most modern communities. We don't have to rely on memories to be reminded of why we must always be prepared.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.