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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992

Remarks on Disaster Assistance for Hawaii Following Hurricane Iniki

1992-09-13

The President. This weekend, as you know, Hurricane Iniki, one of the most powerful storms in this century, struck the island of Hawaii. Reportedly, some lives have been lost. I talked to the Governor last night, and he told me that the latest estimate was two lives, but nobody is absolutely certain at this point. There have been a lot of injuries, and there's been considerable physical damage. On the island of Kauai, damage is now estimated at approximately billion with 30 percent of the buildings destroyed. Airports and main roads are open now, but 95 percent of the island is without power.

Wallace Stickney, the FEMA Administrator, Pat Saiki, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration -- a native Hawaiian -- are already out there coordinating the relief operation. They're working closely with Governor John Waihee. And today shipments of water, food, tents, generators, and other relief supplies are being delivered to the island. These efforts involve the cooperation of State officials; FEMA and CINCPAC and the other military people are working closely with the Governor.

In addition to the Governor's request, I've declared most of the island a Federal disaster area, eligible for grants and low-cost loans to cover property losses. We stand ready to provide further assistance for the Governor to speed the relief effort. I had a good talk with him, and he did say that he was satisfied and pleased with the cooperation from the Federal Government, working with State and local officials.

Our hearts go out to the people of Hawaii, and we pledge to stand by them in support at this hour of need.

Thank you all.

Q. Mr. President, are you going -- --

The President. I have no plans right now.

Note: The President spoke at 8:40 a.m. at Andrews Air Force Base prior to his departure for Irvine, CA. In his remarks, he referred to naval forces under the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC). Hurricane Iniki struck the island of Kauai on September 11.

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