SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - When we rate the intensity of a hurricane we use a scale called the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
The scale was developed in 1969 by Herbert Saffir, a consulting engineer, and Dr. Bob Simpson, the director of the National Hurricane Center.
The scale rates the strength of a hurricane from Category 1 through 5 and can be used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected with a hurricane.
A Tropical Storm has sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph. At least minor to moderate damage is expected within the area. The potential for downed trees and power lines will be enhanced by saturated grounds from heavy rainfall. Widespread power outages and inland flooding is likely.
A Category 1 hurricane has sustained winds of 74-95 mph. Very dangerous winds will produce some damage.
People, livestock, and pets struck by flying or falling debris could be injured or killed. Older (mainly pre-1994 construction) mobile homes could be destroyed, especially if they are not anchored properly as they tend to shift or roll off their foundations.
Newer mobile homes that are anchored properly can sustain damage involving the removal of shingle or metal roof coverings, and loss of vinyl siding, as well as damage to carports, sunrooms, or lanais. Some poorly constructed frame homes can experience major damage, involving loss of the roof covering and damage to gable ends as well as the removal of porch coverings and awnings.
Unprotected windows may break if struck by flying debris. Masonry chimneys can be toppled. Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof shingles, vinyl siding, soffit panels, and gutters. Failure of aluminum, screened-in, swimming pool enclosures can occur.
Some apartment building and shopping center roof coverings could be partially removed. Industrial buildings can lose roofing and siding especially from windward corners, rakes, and eaves.
Failures to overhead doors and unprotected windows will be common. Windows in high-rise buildings can be broken by flying debris.
Falling and broken glass will pose a significant danger even after the storm. There will be occasional damage to commercial signage, fences, and canopies.
Large branches of trees will snap and shallow rooted trees can be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles will likely result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
A Category 2 hurricane has sustained winds of 96-110 mph. Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage
A Category 3 hurricane has winds of 111-130 mph. Devastating damage will occur.
A Category 4 hurricane has sustained winds of 131-155 mph. Catastrophic damage will occur.
A Category 5 hurricane has sustained winds greater than 155 mph. Catastrophic damage will occur