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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Know Your Hurricane Categories

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Crashing waves in an ocean with a dark sky above Hurricanes are a fact of life in Texas. Take a minute to learn more about them.

It’s hurricane season. For those of us who are fascinated with weather (which includes a lot of us here at SERVPRO of North Central Austin), it’s a time when we watch weather reports the way other people watch the sports news. 

Here in Austin we’re a little removed from the immediate effects of such massive weather events, so it’s easier to watch hurricanes come and go without having our own lives upended. Because we don’t have to worry about hurricanes, we aren’t all familiar with the differences in hurricane categories. But even just living in a gulf-coast state, it’s a good idea to know what’s coming when we hear about a category 2 or a category 4 storm headed for our lone star beaches.

We’ve compiled a handy reference guide to put the different types of hurricanes into perspective

Tropical Storm

  • Tropical storms have a wide range of speeds. Winds can blow at anywhere from 39-72 mph.
  • That's about the range of speeds that you'll use when driving down I-35, depending on the time of day.
  • The most recent tropical storm to hit Texas was Imelda. It landed a year ago at Freeport on September 17, 2019. 

Category 1

  • Category 1 hurricanes travel at 74–95 mph.
  • That's the speed of the average college fastball pitch
  • Texas' last category 1 was just this summer when Hurricane Hanna hit Padre Island on July 19th.

Category 2

  • Category 2 hurricanes have a speed of 96–110 mph.
  • That's roughly the speed of a human sneeze. (Gross.)
  • Our last category 2 hurricane was Ike, which hit Galveston on September 13th, 2008.

Category 3

  • Category 3 hurricanes go about 111–129 mph.
  • That's the speed of a falling skydiver.
  • Hurricane Rita was Texas' last category 3 hurricane. It landed near Port Arthur on September 23, 2005.

Category 4

  • Category 4 hurricanes travel at 130–156 mph.
  • That's the speed of the average LPGA tour drive
  • Texas' last category 4 hurricane was Harvey. On August 25, 2017 it landed in Rockport.

Category 5

  • Category 5 hurricanes have winds 157 mph or faster.
  • The how fast a golden eagle flies. (Check out this video filmed from the back of one of these amazing birds.)
  • Thankfully, Texas has never been hit by a category 5 hurricane.

One of the reasons we’re proud to work for SERVPRO is knowing that no matter how big or how small a storm is, there is a nation-wide team of franchises ready to respond in the moment of crisis. So even though we aren’t all hit by hurricanes, we’re all here to help those who are.

We can do the same for you. 

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