Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Caribou ME
632 AM EDT Tue Jul 18 2017

The National Weather Service has declared the week of July 17th
through 21st, Hurricane Preparedness Week in Maine.  This is the
second in a series of five public information statements to be
issued by the National Weather Service Office in Caribou, ME
containing information on Hurricanes and Hurricane Preparedness.


Both hurricanes and tropical storms produce dangerous winds that can
produce life-threatening conditions to those who are caught in them.
Hurricane-force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed
buildings and mobile homes. Debris such as signs, roofing
material, and small items left outside can become flying missiles
in hurricanes. Extensive damage caused by falling trees can lead
to lengthy power and phone outages.

Hurricane wind Speeds and Impacts:

Hurricanes are divided into 5 categories based on the destructive
power of their winds.  The scale used in hurricane classification is
called the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Below is a list of the Saffir-
Simpson Scale, the typical damage that occurs with storms of each
category, and examples of each category of storm (at landfall).


   1      Winds: 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)
          No real damage to well-constructed buildings.
          Damage primarily to poorly constructed buildings and
          unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees.
          Also, some coastal flooding and minor pier damage is
          Examples: Irene 2011 and Allison 1995.

   2      Winds: 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)
          Some damage to building roofs, doors, and windows.
          Considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes,
          etc. Flooding damages piers and small craft in
          unprotected moorings may break their moorings.
          Examples: Bonnie 1998, Bob 1991 and
          Gloria 1985.

   3      Winds: 111-130 mph (96-113 kt)
          Some structural damage to small residences and utility
          buildings, with a minor amount of curtain-wall failures.
          Mobile homes are destroyed.  Flooding near the coast
          destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged
          by floating debris. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
          Examples: Katrina 2005, Fran 1996, Opal 1995, Alicia 1983
          and Betsy 1965

   4      Winds: 131-155 mph (114-135 kt)
          More extensive curtain-wall failures with some complete
          roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion
          of beach areas. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
          Examples: Hugo 1989 and Donna 1960

   5      Winds: 155+ mph (135+ kt)
          Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial
          buildings. Some complete building failures with small
          utility buildings blown over or away. Flooding causes
          major damage to lower floors of all structures near the
          shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be
          Examples: Andrew(FLORIDA) 1992, Camille 1969 and Labor Day-
          Florida Keys 1935

Tornado Threat:

Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes that add to the storm`s
destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to occur to the right
side of the hurricane track, however, they can also form in the rain
bands, well away from the center of the hurricane.  Studies have
shown that more than half of land-falling hurricanes produce at
least one tornado.  In general though, tornadoes associated with
hurricanes are less intense than those that occur in the Great
Plains.  Nonetheless, the effects of tornadoes, added to the larger
area of hurricane-force winds, can produce substantial damage.
Fortunately, hurricane-spawned tornadoes are infrequent in northern
New England.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How often do we get hurricanes of each category
in Maine?

The National Hurricane Center estimates "return periods" for the
various categories of hurricanes for locations along the East and
Gulf Coasts.  In this determination, the likelihood of the center of
a hurricane passing within 75 miles of a location is estimated.
However, because northern New England does not have many strong
hurricanes, it is difficult to determine the frequency of the
stronger hurricanes.

Category           Return Period Mid and Downeast Maine
   1                           30 years
   2                           100 years
   3                           200 years

FACT FOR THE DAY:  The strongest winds in a hurricane usually occur
on the right side of the track.  If a hurricane makes landfall on
the northern New England coast, the strongest winds will be to the
east of the center of the storm.  In contrast, most of the
precipitation falls on the left side of the storm track.  Hurricane
Gloria, which made landfall over Long Island and southern
Connecticut and traveled west of Portland, produced wind gusts of 70
mph in Portland, but produced only 0.41 inches of rainfall in the

Now is the time to prepare for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms:

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