Twenty-five Years Later, Former Kaua‘i Mayor JoAnn Yukimura Remembers ‘Iniki’s Fury

Richard Borreca
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

On the evening of Sept. 10, 1992, the lives of JoAnn Yukimura and the 50,000 people living on Kaua‘i were about to change dramatically.

Just after 6 p.m., Yukimura, the fresh-faced, new, liberal mayor of Kaua‘i, was onstage at the Hawaii Women Lawyers’ annual meeting at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Honolulu with the state’s two other women county leaders, Linda Lingle from Maui and Lorraine Inouye from the Big Island, when a man approached Yukimura to deliver a message to her.

“It was a call from my administrative assistant, Tom Batey, who said, ‘It looks like it is going to be a direct hit; you have to get home,’” Yukimura recalled in a recent phone interview.

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