Hurricane categories explained: How strong is each category?

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How intense is a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane — and what do the different categories mean for people in the storm's path?

September 28, 2022, 10:37 AMHurricane Ian makes its wayIan, which is expected to make landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast on Wednesday, strengthened into a powerful Category 4, with winds nearing Category 5 levels. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency and said storm conditions are "projected to constitute a major disaster.

Its "very dangerous winds" will cause some damage to roofs, shingles, vinyl sidings and gutters on well-built homes, NWS said on its website. "Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks," NWS said.Hurricane Ian brings fears of dangerous storm surge to Florida: How storm surge worksThree people inside a house await rescue from the floods caused by Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 18, 2022.

"Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months," the NWS said on its website about Category 4 storms.Category 5 hurricanes are the most devastating, with sustained winds of at least 157 mph.

 

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