Yesterday it was the earthquake. Now today, everyone's focus has shifted back to Hurricane Irene which is expected to affect this area Sunday night into Monday (as of current forecasts). Forecasts also predict Irene will be a Category 1 hurricane when it reaches us.
Nothing can make the fact that a possible Category 1 hurricane is coming our way stress-free, but knowing a little more about the storm and hurricanes in general will help you prepare accordingly.
First and foremost, if Irene does approach Rhode Island and Massachusetts as a Category 1 hurricane, this means that it will include:
- winds ranging from 74-95 mph
- and could include ocean surges between 4-5 feet
This information is according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale that divides hurricanes into 5 categories depending on the intensity of their sustained winds.
The scale was developed in 1971 by a civil engineer named Herbert Saffir and meteorologist Bob Simpson, who was the Director of the National Hurricane Center at the time. The pair developed the scale to help people determine the damage that was likely on landfall from an impending storm.
Fortunately, Category 1 hurricanes generally do not cause significant structural damage. Damage that could occur however includes:
- mobile homes being toppled
- uprooted trees
- coastal flooding
- roof damage
- Power outages are also common
Now that you understand a little more about Hurricane Irene, you can check out our August newsletter which happens to include a hurricane preparedness checklist and some things you should not do to prepare for a storm!