Hurricane winds can bring devastation

A woman fights the wind in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 as Hurricane Matthew moves up the east coast. Gov. Pat McCrory is warning North Carolina residents that even though Hurricane Matthew's winds have been downgraded, the storm is still a danger because of flooding and storm surge. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week with Tuesday’s focus being on wind.

Hurricane force winds greater than 74 mph can easily destroy buildings, mobile homes and other structures.

They can also turn roofing material, siding and other objects into dangerous flying projectiles.

Hurricane force winds can cause just as much damage as a tornado, knocking down trees, power lines and even damaging water lines.

And high winds are not just a hazard for coastal cities. Winds can stay at hurricane strength as a storm travels inland.

The Saffir-Simpson scale classifies hurricanes into five categories based on the storm’s sustained wind speed.

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Category 1 and 2 storms, although at the lower end of the scale, are still very dangerous and usually produce minimal to extensive damage to a given area.

Storms of Category 3 or higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential to cause loss of life or property.

Winds in a Category 5 hurricane can reach speeds in excess of 157 mph, causing catastrophic damage.

To continue educating the public about the hazards of hurricanes, the Hurricane Awareness Tour is coming to Raleigh-Durham International Airport Wednesday.

Hurricane experts, pilots and crew members will be on hand as well as the WC-130J Hurricane Hunter aircraft which flies into the eye of a storm and NOAA G-4 which flies around and above a storm.

You can tour the aircraft and learn more about hurricane forecasting from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday.

RELATED: Hurricane Hunter aircraft to bring awareness tour to RDU

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