|Surviving the Storms (FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1998, 8 p.)|
The amount of damage you can expect from a hurricane is directly linked to the wind velocity of the storm. Winds in an intense storm may reach a sustained velocity of more than 150 mph with gusts up to 200 mph.
The National Hurricane Center uses the Saffir/Simpson scale that classifies storms into five categories. Here is a summary of possible damage to shorelines and vessels in each case.
Winds 7495 mph, storm surge fourtofive feet above normal. Flooded lowlying coastal roads, minor pier damage, some small craft in exposed anchorages torn from moorings.
Winds 96110 mph, storm surge six toeight feet. Coastal and lowlying roads leading inland flooded two to four hours before the hurricane eye passes over. Piers damaged, marinas flooded, small craft in unprotected anchorages torn from moorings.
Winds 111 - 130 mph, storm surge nine - to - twelve feet. Smaller structures destroyed by coastal flooding; larger structures destroyed by battering waves and floating debris. Low - lying roads leading inland flooded three - to - five hours before the eye passes over.
Winds 131 - 155 mph, storm surge 13 - 18 feet. Flooding of flat terrain up to 10 feet above sea level as far as six miles inland. Major flooding and wave battering damage to lower floors of structures near shore. Low - lying roads leading inland flooded three - to - five hours before the eye passes over. Major beach erosion.
Winds above 155 mph, storm surge more than 18 feet. Major damage to lower floors of all structures less than 15 feet above sea level within 500 yards of shore.
For Flood Insurance Information