Risks of Hurricane Damage
Those who live along the coast, and in some cases farther inland, know the risks and hazards that a hurricane or a tropical storm brings. Strong winds and high waters mean dangerous situation for residents, and large amounts of damage after the storm has passed. Some who aren’t too familiar with the destruction can find themselves asking what are the actual risks of hurricane damage?
Strong Winds and Storm Surges
Strong winds occurring during a hurricane or tropical storm start at 74 miles per hour, and can reach as high as 200 miles per hour. These winds can cause structural damage to buildings as well as natural structures, causing harm to those who remain inside. Destroyed homes and buildings needing major roof repair or structural repair can result from strong winds collapsing framework. Hurricane winds can uproot trees and throw cars easily. Some of these winds can even spur small tornadoes, that can cause even further wind damage.
Broken windows are just the beginning of what damages strong winds can cause. Winds with this kind of strength can also cause a storm surge, pushing water towards the shore. Mix that with high tides and low pressure, and a wall of water heading toward the land can reach 25 ft. and travel as far as a mile inland.
Heavy rainfall in shorts amount of time, mixed with storm surges and high tides, can cause major flooding, especially to those that live within miles of the coast. Even as a hurricane moves inland, the heavy rainfall can solely cause heavy amounts of flooding. This excess amount of water causes heavy structural damage and can amount to damages for areas hundreds of miles away from where the storm has made landfall.
Flood damage can cause mold infestation in buildings and require major drying and disinfecting of carpets, furniture and even ductwork.
Damages Within Categories
Category 1 Hurricanes
- These hurricanes have wind speeds up to 95 mph and can lift unanchored mobile homes, signs and loose objects outdoors. Flying debris, tree damage and projectiles are not uncommon in these hurricanes. Power outages can also occur.
Category 2 Hurricanes
- Wind speeds in this category can reach 110 mph, reaching speeds high enough to collapse power poles and damage facades to structures like roofs and windows.
Category 3 Hurricanes
- The wind speed during this hurricane can reach up to 130 mph, causing major damage to buildings and destruction to mobile homes. Larger power outages are expected during this type of hurricane.
Category 4 Hurricanes
- This category breeds wind speeds at 155 mph. Destruction to homes and outdoor signage is expected. Also, major damage to trees happen in this hurricane, often causing uprooting. Power outages are even more widespread and last even longer.
Category 5 Hurricanes
- Speeds in this category reach higher than 155 mph and cause extreme destruction. Structures are either highly damaged or just destroyed entirely. Tall structures, including trees, power lines and even water towers, collapse.