WeatherWeather News


When wind speeds kick up, you need to take action: How fast the wind must blow to cause damage

Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 19:53:09-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You see it bending tree branches. You feel it push against your body. 

When severe weather hits, fast-paced wind speeds are soon to follow, and this force can leave a wake of damage in its path.

In 2016, wind damages exceeded $149 million across the U.S., according to the National Weather Service. When the wind blows, you need to take it seriously. 

See more stories from Surviving the Storm

Here is a breakdown showing what wind speeds will do when severe weather strikes.

30-44 miles an hour

Nothing to worry about with these wind speeds. Trees will sway, some lawn furniture might topple.

45-57 miles an hour

During this type of wind event, you will see large trees bend and dead or weak branches break off. Carports could be uplifted, and older or weak buildings could have some roof damage.

58-74 miles an hour 

When wind speeds reach this level, shallow-rooted trees could push over. Semi-truck drivers have to be on guard because these wind speeds could cause a semi to overturn. Shingles from homes can also start peeling off.

75-89 miles an hour

This is when you can expect to see more damage occur from the wind. Trees will be uprooted and roofs might start partially peeling off. Weak structures, like barns, are also at risk of being severely damaged.

90+ miles an hour 

Automobiles could be pushed off dry roads. Homes are likely to have some sort of damage. Most trees will be flattened.

To prevent as much damage as you can, here are some tips from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.