Current Watches and Warnings
North Carolina, Lenoir
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 6:00 AM EDT on May 26, 2015
... North Carolina hurricane preparedness week for 2015...
This week has been declared North Carolina's hurricane preparedness
week for 2015. All week long the National Weather Service will be
issuing informative messages to help you prepare for hurricane
Each day we will cover a different topic. Today we will talk about
high winds and tornadoes.
High wind... the intensity of a landfalling hurricane is expressed
in term of categories that relate to wind speeds and potential
damage. A category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane
scale has lighter wind when compared to higher category
hurricanes. A category four hurricane would have winds between
130-156 mph... and would be expected to cause 100 times more damage
than a category one hurricane.
Even tropical storm force winds of less than 74 mph are capable of
tossing around debris and causing damage. For this reason... you
need to be in a sturdy shelter as the hurricane moves inland and
before the onset of tropical storm force winds. This may be hours
ahead of the actual hurricane eye.
Hurricane force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed
buildings and Mobile homes. Debris such as signs... roofing... and
small items left outside become flying missiles in high wind.
Falling trees can cause extensive damage to power lines... towers
... And underground water lines. This can cause extended disruptions
of utility services.
As seen in hurricanes Hugo and fran... hurricane force winds can
extend far inland... so those living throughout the area should
take the threat of flying debris and falling trees very seriously.
Tornadoes... hurricanes also produce tornadoes that add to the
storms destruction. Both hurricanes Floyd and fran produced
numerous tornadoes which destroyed several homes. Tornadoes like
these usually occur in the right front quadrant of the hurricane.
In the case of Hurricane Irene in 2011 several tornadoes occurred
in the left front quadrant. The tornado that struck in Columbia was
a high end strong EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
More than half of all landfalling hurricanes produce tornadoes.
Tornadoes typically threaten eastern North Carolina several hours
prior to landfall... as the first rain bands move onshore well
away from the hurricane's eye. In the case of Hurricane Irene,
which was a very large hurricane... the tornadoes occurred during
the evening prior to actual landfall. Also... be aware that the
threat of tornadoes can linger for as much as 12 hours to days
Safety... no Mobile home or manufactured home is safe in hurricane
force winds. Those residents should evacuate to a safer structure.
If sheltering in a sturdy building... you want to take shelter on
the lowest floor in a bathroom or closet when high winds threaten.
You can protect windows by installing hurricane shutters or
prepare 5/8 inch plywood panels. This will not only protect your
windows... but it also keeps the wind out of your house. If the
wind is able to enter a house through a window or door... it
becomes much easier for the wind to destroy a home. Garage doors
are also very susceptible to high wind and fail frequently in
tropical storms and hurricanes.
Have a plan of where to go if a tornado threatens you. Talk with
your family and let everyone know where your predetermined safe
room is in your home. Again... interior hallways... closets and
bathrooms are the safest locations. Always stay away from windows
and exterior doors.
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