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How dangerous is a hurricane? Understanding hurricane categories

Published: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 10:51 PM

Devastating Hurricanes in U.S. History

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30, and residents in a storm's path should become familiar with hurricane categories in order to better protect themselves.

The National Hurricane Center uses the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to measure a storm's strength and potential destruction. The scale analyzes a hurricane's wind speed and assigns it a 1 to 5 rating.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

The categories for the hurricanes listed below are determined by the storm's strength when it made landfall in the U.S., according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical Storm — Winds 39-73 mph 

Category 1 Hurricane — winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt) 

Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days. 

- Examples: Irene 1999 and Allison 1995

Category 2 Hurricane — winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt) 

Well-constructed frame homes could receive major roof and siding damage. 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. 

- Examples: Bonnie 1998, Georges (FL & LA) 1998 and Gloria 1985

Category 3 Hurricane — winds 111-129 mph (96-112 kt) 

Well-built frame homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

- Examples: Katrina (LA) 2005, Keith 2000, Fran 1996, Opal 1995, Alicia 1983 and Betsy 1965

Category 4 Hurricane — winds 130-156 mph (113-136 kt) 

Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

- Examples: Andrew (FL) 1992, Hugo 1989 and Donna 1960

Category 5 Hurricane — winds 157 mph and up (137+ kt) 

A high percentage of frame homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

- Examples: Camille 1969 and Labor Day storm 1935

Who is Doug Jones, Democrat facing Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race?

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4:22 AM

FILE- In this Dec. 4, 2017 file photo, Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones speaks at a news conference, in Dolomite, Ala. In Alabama’s special Senate election, underdog  Jones and his fellow Democrats are intent on not sinking his upset bid against Republican Roy Moore.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Brynn Anderson/AP
FILE- In this Dec. 4, 2017 file photo, Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones speaks at a news conference, in Dolomite, Ala. In Alabama’s special Senate election, underdog Jones and his fellow Democrats are intent on not sinking his upset bid against Republican Roy Moore. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)(Brynn Anderson/AP)

After sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore in the weeks leading up to Tuesday's special election in Alabama, critics began lining up behind Democrat Doug Jones in the closely watched race.

>> 5 things to watch in Alabama's U.S. Senate election

Here's what we know about Jones, a 63-year-old former federal prosecutor from Birmingham:

>> Who is Judge Roy Moore?

1. He became the U.S. attorney for Alabama's Northern District in 1997. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the post, which Jones held until 2001, according to NBC News.

2. Jones prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members behind the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four black girls in Alabama. In the early 2000s, Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton were sentenced to life in prison in the case, according to NBC News.

3. He was involved in prosecuting Eric Rudolph, who bombed a Birmingham abortion clinic in 1998. That attack killed an off-duty officer. Rudolph also was behind the deadly 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news 

4. He has spoken in support of Moore's accusers. “Those brave women are entirely credible; they’re telling the truth,” Jones said, according to Newsweek. “Moore will be an embarrassment to the people and businesses of Alabama, and if he makes it to Senate, he’ll continue to divide our country.”

5. He is against repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Jones also told that he supports a woman's right to choose to have an abortion but added: "The law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in the case of medical necessity. That's what I support." Read more here.

What You Need To Know About Roy Moore

5 things to watch in Alabama's U.S. Senate election

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 1:56 AM

Alabama voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide the race for U.S. Senate between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones, and the outcome is being closely watched across the nation.

>> Who is Judge Roy Moore?

No Democrat has been elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama since 1992, and President Donald Trump won the state by nearly 30 percentage points. But allegations that Moore pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls when he was in his 30s have rocked the race. He’s denied the claims.

>> Who is Doug Jones, Democrat facing Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race?

Jones, a former federal prosecutor, has highlighted his opponent’s outspoken conservative views in his bid to energize the state’s Democratic base and flip suburban voters who typically vote for the GOP. Polls show a tight race, though special elections like the one Tuesday are notoriously hard to predict.

>> Read more trending news

Moore is deeply popular with the state’s evangelical voters, a powerful voting bloc that has enthusiastically supported him in past statewide votes. In the closing weeks of the race, he’s had scattered appearances in rural churches while largely relying on supporters to defend him.

What You Need To Know About Roy Moore

Here are five things to watch with Tuesday’s vote to succeed Jeff Sessions, whose seat became open when Trump tapped him to become U.S. attorney general:

>> Trump tweets support for Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race

1. It’s a big deal. Republicans now control 52 seats in the U.S. Senate, including the one held by Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill Sessions’ seat and was soundly defeated by Moore in September. A Democratic win would mean that Republicans could only afford one “no” vote to pass a Senate measure on party lines, since Vice President Mike Pence would break a 50-50 tie. Some Republicans fear a Moore victory could be equally unsettling for the party. Moore has repeatedly called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to step down, and he in turn has withheld his support and funding for the former judge’s campaign. And Democrats would look to tie Moore to a host of GOP candidates seeking office in the midterm elections in 2018, highlighting not only accusations that he’s a sexual predator but also his history of controversial statements.

>> WaPo: Another Roy Moore accuser comes forward with evidence of relationship

2. The bombshell allegations. Allegations against Moore of sexual misconduct involving teenagers while a prosecutor in Etowah County, Alabama, from 1977 to 1982 have threatened to upend the race. Moore has denied the allegations while claiming media outlets and Washington status quo enforcers are trying to derail his campaign. The women have stuck by their stories, and several said they are willing to testify under oath. They have left GOP voters who are concerned by the allegations in a quandary, debating between supporting a candidate accused of being a sexual predator or sending a Democrat to Washington. Some could also stay home on Tuesday or write in a candidate.

Roy Moore Accuser Details Alleged Sexual Assault When She Was 16

3. Alabama’s rural base. The state’s rural Republican base holds outsized sway in Alabama, where grass-roots Republicans have helped ensure that no Democrat has been elected to major statewide office since 2006. But Moore’s margins as a statewide candidate show he has underperformed other Republicans. In 2012, he narrowly won a vote for Supreme Court chief justice even as Mitt Romney carried the state by 22 percentage points. And in his 9-point victory over Strange in the primary, Moore struggled in the affluent, conservative suburbs in Birmingham and Huntsville. Moore has tried to shore up his base by crisscrossing rural areas he hopes to carry by overwhelming victories, and his advisers expect enthusiastic turnout to mark the difference in Tuesday’s vote.

4. The key to a Democratic victory. Jones must rely on a two-pronged strategy to flip the seat. He needs Alabama’s black population – a predominantly Democratic voting bloc that accounts for about 27 percent of the state – to turn out in droves. Jones, who is white, has leaned on African-American supporters, including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, to energize black voters in populous areas like Birmingham in the closing days of the race. He has also wooed voters in Republican-leaning suburbs in the outskirts of Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile in hopes of convincing them to vote across party lines – or not cast a ballot at all. Some suburban voters who have never cast Democratic ballots say they’ve proudly posted Jones signs in their yards.

5. How the election will affect the 2018 elections in other states. For example, although Georgia and Alabama are vastly different states, Peach State strategists are closely watching their neighbor for clues about next year’s elections in Georgia. Like in Alabama, Democrats in Georgia hope to flip independent voters in affluent suburbs who have fled to the GOP. And Republicans in both states see a path to victory through maximizing their advantage in rural areas. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, was among the black leaders enlisted to help Jones’ campaign across the state line. And Stacey Evans, a Democratic candidate for governor, has already made clear she intends to weaponize Moore’s campaign. She called on her GOP rivals to disavow Moore’s candidacy. None did so.

Grandmother left for dead in road after struck by hit and run driver

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 10:50 PM


A 59-year-old DeKalb County, Georgia woman is in critical condition after she was hit while crossing the street to get to a bus stop, her daughter said.

>> Read more trending news

The driver of an SUV struck Deborah Gee as she was crossing Clairmont Road in Brookhaven in metro Atlanta, headed for the bus stop she walks to every day, daughter Michaelyn Jones told Channel 2 Action News.

The impact happened about 7 p.m. on Dec. 6, according to a Brookhaven police report. 

Gee is expected to survive, but her family said it would take years to recover from several broken bones and doctors may have to amputate her right leg.

“They just left her there. It's awful,” Jones told Channel 2. “I don’t understand how somebody could do that. They left her there to die.”

Daughter Chastity Shanahan said Gee is tough. 

Shanahan and Jones said bystanders rushed to help after the driver drove off.

“Thank God that there were two witnesses that stopped and saved her life or she would have died,” Jones said.

The driver kept driving west on Clairmont Road toward Buford Highway and likely has front-end damage to the SUV, according to evidence police found at the scene. 

Police said that driver faces felony hit-and-run charges despite the fact that Gee wasn’t in a crosswalk when she was hit.

>> Related: Georgia trucker runs over disabled wife in argument over his ‘infidelity’

“It's our understanding that Brookhaven police are going through some camera data that records tags at that intersection,” family attorney Joe Habachy told Channel 2.

Gee’s daughters are hoping she will be able to walk again someday. For now, they just want justice.

“We need to find the person that left my mom laying on the ground,” Jones said.

WaPo: Another Roy Moore accuser comes forward with evidence of relationship

Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 6:35 PM

What You Need To Know About Roy Moore

Another accuser of Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has come forward with evidence that Moore knew her, despite his repeated denials that he didn’t know any of the nine women who have alleged he either made unwanted sexual advances toward them or pursued them when they were teenagers decades ago, according to the Washington Post.

>> Read more trending news

Debbie Wesson Gibson, now 54, who said she met Moore when she was 17 when he came to speak to her high school civics class, told the Post she found a card the Republican candidate gave to her when she graduated from high school, proving that he did indeed know her very well.

Moore, 70, allegedly wrote “Happy graduation Debbie. I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”

Wesson Gibson said she dated Moore several times when she was underage and he was 34.

At a campaign event on Nov. 27, Moore, who first said he remembered several of the women, including Wesson Gibson, backtracked, the Post reported

“The allegations are completely false. They are malicious. Specifically, I do not know any of these women,” Moore said.

>> Related: Alabama woman says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16

GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore speaks during a candidates' forum in Valley, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, despite allegations of sexual assault by several women.(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.)

The Washington Post used a handwriting expert to compare the writing on Wesson Gibson’s card with handwriting purportedly belonging to Moore in another accuser’s high school yearbook, and said the handwriting samples look similar, but a more in-depth analysis would be needed to say for sure.

>> Related: Washington Post: Group tried to ‘sting’ media by planting fake Roy Moore accuser

Alabama voters go to the polls on Dec. 12 to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was appointed U.S. Attorney General.