In a story about hurricane categories, The Associated Press reported erroneously that storm surges were linked to the Saffir-Simpson scale. The National Hurricane Center removed storm surge from the Saffir-Simpson scale several years ago. Hurricane Ivan was a Category 3, not Category 4, when it made U.S. landfall. Hurricane Andrew killed 65 people, not 55. This story also clarifies the number of deaths blamed on Hurricane Charley. Forty people were killed directly and indirectly by the storm.
A corrected version of the story is below:
By The Associated Press
Hurricanes are ranked 1 to 5 according to what is known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm when its eye made landfall in Texas on Aug. 25.
Winds of 74-95 mph (120-150 kph). Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed signs and piers. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
Winds of 96-110 mph (155-175 kph). Some roof, door and window damage to buildings. Considerable damage to mobile homes, small watercraft, trees, poorly constructed signs and piers. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
Winds of 111-129 mph (180-210 kph). Some structural damage to small homes. Mobile homes destroyed and large trees blown down. Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, was a Category 3 storm at landfall in 2005 after being a Category 5 in the Gulf of Mexico. At least 1,800 people died.
Winds of 130-156 mph (210-250 kph). Wall failures and roof collapses on small homes, and extensive damage to doors and windows. Complete destruction of some homes, especially mobile homes. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan was a Category 3 storm when it made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama. That same year, Hurricane Charley hit the Florida Gulf Coast near Fort Myers as a Category 4 storm. It was blamed for the deaths of 40 people and left thousands homeless. The total U.S. damage was estimated to be near $15 billion.
Winds greater than 157 mph (250 kph). Complete roof failure on many homes and industrial buildings. Smaller buildings and mobile homes blown over or completely blown away. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 feet (4.5 meters) above sea level and within 500 yards (460 meters) of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 kilometers) inland may be required. The last Category 5 storm to hit the United States was Hurricane Andrew in 1992. An estimated 250,000 were left homeless and the storm caused more than $20 billion in damage in the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana. Sixty-five people were killed.
Source: National Hurricane Center