Hurricane Categories and What They Mean

  • Tropical depression: wind speeds 38 mph or less.
  • Tropical storm: wind speeds 39 to 73 mph.
  • Category 1: wind speeds 74 to 95 mph. “Some damage” including downed power lines, broken tree limbs, and damage to well built homes’ roofs and gutters.
  • Category 2: wind speeds 96 to 110 mph. “Extensive damage” including uprooted trees, “major roof and siding damage” to houses, and power outages that last for days or weeks.
  • Category 3: wind speeds 111 to 129 mph. “Devastating damage” including roof decking and gable ends ripped off houses.
  • Category 4: wind speeds 130 to 156 mph. “Catastrophic damage” including roofs and walls removed from houses; most of the area will be “uninhabitable for weeks to months.”
  • Category 5: wind speeds 157 mph and up. A “high percentage” of homes will be totally destroyed.

Source: Hurricane Categories and What They Mean

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