Texas has more hurricanes and tropical storms than any other state in the United States besides Florida. Hurricanes hit Texas about once every six years, often leaving devastation in their wake. Hurricane Harvey led to the death of 103 Texans and displaced another 1.8 million people. It also caused upwards of $125 billion in damage. 

Knowing when these storms are expected to hit and their severity may help save your life and property. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale provides a rating of 1 to 5 to categorize hurricanes. These ratings are based solely on the hurricane’s maximum sustained wind speed. Sustained wind speeds are calculated by measuring winds at a height of 33 feet for one minute and determining their average speed during this time.

The scale also estimates potential personal property damage

Here are the five categories based on the scale:

Category 1 

Category 1 hurricanes have sustained wind speeds of 74 to 95 mph. Well-constructed homes with frames could have roof, shingle, siding, or gutter damage. Large tree branches can snap and cause damage. Trees with shallow roots can fall over and cause more damage. Emergency crews are often called to repair downed power lines and poles. 

While this is the lowest category of hurricanes, there is no such thing as a “minor hurricane.” Any hurricane is a step up from a tropical storm and can involve the loss of life, deadly storm surges, floods caused by extensive rainfall, and tornadoes. People in the path of any hurricane are often advised to evacuate from vulnerable structures and take shelter.

Category 2

Category 2 hurricanes involve sustained wind speeds of 96 to 110 mph. At this rate, meteorologists predict that dangerous winds could cause extensive damage. Well-constructed structures could sustain major siding and roof damage. Shallowly-rooted trees can be uprooted and block streets. People often lose power for days or weeks following these storms. 

Category 3

Category 3 hurricanes are the first stage when they are considered “major.” These hurricanes have sustained winds of 111 to 129 mph. Major hurricanes are expected to cause devastating to catastrophic wind damage and significant loss of life because of the wind strength alone. 

At this level, devastating damage is expected to occur, including significant removal or damage of roof decking of well-built framed homes. Fallen trees and branches will likely block numerous roads. Power outages lasting weeks are also expected. 

Category 4

Category 4 hurricanes involve sustained wind speeds of 130 to 156 mph. At these wind speeds, entire cities can be leveled. 

Catastrophic damage occurs during these storms, including:

  • Loss of roofs
  • Loss of exterior structure walls
  • Uprooted and snapped trees
  • Downed power lines
  • Fallen power poles and trees that isolate residential areas

In some of these hurricanes, the area may be rendered uninhabitable for weeks or months, leading to the displacement of many families. Power outages may continue for months after the storm has left the area. 

Category 5

Category 5 hurricanes are the most serious. They involve sustained wind speeds of 157 mph or higher, causing catastrophic damage. Most homes in the hurricane’s path will be destroyed, and roofs and walls will collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas for weeks or months, further worsened by long-lasting power outages. 

Contact an Attorney If You Need Help With a Hurricane Property Damage Claim

If you believe that someone’s negligence caused you to suffer property damage during a hurricane or that your insurance company is acting in bad faith in handling your claim, an attorney can help. We routinely battle insurance companies and demand the compensation our clients deserve. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Texas

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and need legal help, contact our personal injury lawyers at Anderson Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve Tarrant County, Dallas County, and throughout Texas.

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Fort Worth Office
1310 W El Paso St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 294-1900

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Fort Worth Office (Secondary)
6618 Fossil Bluff Dr # 108, Fort Worth, TX 76137
(817) 631-4113

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Dallas Office
408 W Eighth St Suite 202, Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 327-8000

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Dallas Office (Secondary)
6301 Gaston Ave suite 610, Dallas, TX 75214
(469) 457-4711