How Strong Can Hurricanes Get?

We know that hurricanes come in 5 categories, and over the last few weeks, we saw what happens when powerful hurricanes like Irma and Harvey hit land.  The site isn't pretty.

But a lot of people don't know just HOW powerful hurricane winds can get. I've seen a few comments saying they should just build stronger houses in the south.  While that may help, even a brick house is going to have trouble standing up to a hurricane.

Here is how strong hurricanes can actually get

Category 1

Wind speeds of 74 - 95 MPH.

Roofs can lose shingles, tree branches can snap, and power lines can be downed.

Category 2

Wind speeds of 96 - 110 MPH.

Winds this strong can damage sturdy homes and severely damage trailer parks and lighter homes.

Full grown trees with shallow roots can be blown over.

Category 3

Wind speeds of 111 - 129 MPH.

Sturdy houses will take severe damage including windows, roofs, and possibly doors.

A sturdy foundation can still handle these winds.

Category 4

Wind speeds of 130 - 156 MPH

Hurricanes this powerful will completely dismantle the roof of a well-built home.

Strong trees can be uprooted or snapped in half if they have deep roots.

Category 5

Wind speeds of 157 MPH or more.

Most homes, even sturdy ones will be completely destroyed. The cleanup effort will take months, and the area will not be livable in the near future.

The deadliest hurricane in US history was Galveston Hurricane in 1900 which killed 6,000 - 12,000 people. The wind speeds were 145 miles per hour, making it a category 4 storm. Very similar in strength to Irma and Harvey, but we did not have the proper warning and bug out systems in place in those days that we do now.

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