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Cheat Sheet: What Hurricane Categories Mean

Category 1: Wind speeds from 74-95 mph can cause considerable roof damage to sturdy homes, branches and tree toppling, and power line damage with blackouts for several days.

Category 2: Winds reaching 96-110 mph that can result in major roof damage, tree snapping and uprooting blocking roads, and near-total power loss that can last weeks.

Category 3: Wind speeds of 111-129 mph can rip off roof decking and gable ends on well-built homes. Electricity and water will be unavailable for up to weeks after the storm ends.

Category 4: Sustained winds from 130-156 mph causing catastrophic damage. Solidly built houses will loose most of their roof and exterior wall structure. Power outages can last months, making the areas essentially inhabitable for extended periods of time.

Category 5: Wind speeds reaching 157 mph or more will destroy majority of homes. Long-term damage is guaranteed. 

Source: National Hurricane Center


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