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Hurricane Categorization and The Damage Storms Can Cause

4:03 PM, Oct 10, 2018


Anna Kohls

Wind and rain are the two dangerous elements of a hurricane. And with the storm system comes a lot of it. With Hurricane Michael’s winds reaching up to 150 miles per hour as a Category 4 hurricane, the wind can be deadly.

A Breakdown of Hurricane Categories and the Damage They Can Cause

Meteorologists categorize the speed and intensity of a hurricane’s winds using the “Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale”.

Here’s a breakdown of what each category of a hurricane can do.

Category 1: A Category 1 hurricane is the least intense, but it is still a big storm. Winds range from 74 to 95 mph. This could cause damage to rooftops, gutters and trees. Any damage to power lines could last for a few days.

Category 2: A Category 2 hurricane picks things up, and winds reach the triple digits — up to 110 mph. This is where you’d see signs blown over, trees snapped or uprooted, and power poles could break from the force of debris pulling on the lines. This could result in near-total power loss that could last days to weeks.

Category 3: Winds are now blasting up to 129 mph. This can cause major damage to roofs. More trees are uprooted. Electricity and water could be unavailable for days to weeks after the storm.

Category 4: Winds are now up to 156 mph. Sustained winds at these speeds and stronger gusts could blow roofs off homes and destroy outer walls of a house. Power outages can last for weeks or months. Damage like this could take weeks or months to fix.

Category 5: These winds are over 157 mph. This could destroy most homes and cause power outages to last for weeks to months.

For more information, visit FEMA’s website .


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