Saffir - Simpson Scale


Category 1: Winds of 74 to 95 mph

Damage primarily to shrubbery, trees and unanchored mobile homes. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Low-lying coastal roads inundated, minor pier damage, some small craft in exposed anchorage torn from moorings.



Category 2: Winds of 96 to 110 mph

Considerable damage to shrubbery and tree foliage; some trees blown down. Major damage to exposed mobile homes. Extensive damage to poorly constructed signs; some damage to roofing materials of buildings; and some window and door damage. No major damage to buildings. Coastal roads and low-lying escape routes inland cut by rising water two to four hours before arrival of the hurricane's center. Considerable damage to piers; Marinas flooded and small craft in unprotected ports torn from moorings.



Category 3: Winds of 111 to 130 mph

Foliage torn from trees, large trees blown down. Virtually all poorly constructed signs blown down; some damage to roofing materials of buildings; some window and door damage; and some structural damage to small buildings. Mobile homes destroyed. Serious flooding at coast and many smaller structures near coast destroyed; low-lying escape routes inland cut by rising water three to five hours before hurricane's center arrives.



Category 4: Winds of 131 to 155 mph

Shrubs, trees and all signs down. Extensive damage to roofing materials, windows and doors. Complete failure of roofs on many small residences; complete destruction of mobile homes. Major damage to lower floors of structures near shore due to flooding and battering by waves and floating debris.



Category 5: Winds greater than 155 mph

Shrubs and trees down, considerable damage to building roofs. All signs down; very severe and extensive damage to windows and doors. Complete failure of roofs on many residences and industrial buildings; extensive shattering of window and door glass; some complete building failures; small buildings overturned or blown away. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Low lying escape routes inland cut by rising water three to five hours before the hurricane's center arrival.


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