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What Are the Main Categories for Hurricanes?

During hurricane season, you will hear weather forecasters talk about the category of a hurricane.  Knowing and understanding each category is important to understanding the strength and potential danger a hurricane


Category 1:   Winds are 74 mph to 95 mph.

Category 2:  Winds are 96 to 110 mph.

Category 3: Winds are 111 mph to 129 mph.

Category 4: Winds are 130 to 156 mph.

Category 5:  Winds are in excess of 157 mph.


Some of the types of damages you could see from each hurricane category are listed below.

Category 1 - Homes can sustain roof damage, vinyl siding and gutters.  Branches can snap and trees with poor roots can fall.   Also, damage to power lines could result in power outages.

Category 2:  Damage to roofs can be expected along with siding.  Trees with poor roots can be uprooted and fall.  Power loss can be expected and may last for several days.

Category 3:  Devastating damage can occur, including the removal of roof decking and gable ends.  Fallen trees will most likely block road ways and destroy power-lines.  Creating power outages that may last for weeks. 

Category 4: Catastrophic damage can occur, homes could sustain major damage that might include loss of the roof and damage to the structure.   Trees will be uprooted and road-ways will be blocked. Power-outages could last for weeks or months.

Category 5:  Catastrophic damage will occur, including homes being partially or completely destroyed. Trees will be uprooted and road-ways will be blocked.  Areas will be uninhabitable for weeks or months. 

Regardless of the category of any hurricane, you should make sure you evacuate the area and secure your property to the best of your ability.

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