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Hurricane Scale: What is the difference between a Category 1-5 

Published: Friday, August 25, 2017 @ 10:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 05, 2017 @ 9:35 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at the criteria for the categories of hurricanes and the damage they can produce.

First, what is a hurricane?A hurricane is a rotating low-pressure weather system.The system is born as an area of disturbed weather usually in the Atlantic Ocean. If the conditions are right, the system organizes thunderstorms to create a sort of heat pump to draw fuel from the warm ocean waters. Tropical systems gain strength by drawing heat from the air and sending it upward to be released through condensation of water vapor in thunderstorms.

As these storms move across the ocean or in and around the Gulf of Mexico, they can grow stronger. 

When a system has sustained winds of 39 mph, it is classified as a tropical depression. When the winds reach 39 mph or higher, the depression becomes a tropical storm and is given a name.
At 74 mph, the system is a hurricane.
WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

What is the Saffir-Simpson scale and what does it have to do with hurricanes?The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale categorizes hurricanes by wind strength.The tropical system is assigned a category depending on its wind speed. Here are the categories, the wind speeds and what those winds will likely do once the system makes landfall.

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Category 1 – 74 to 95 mph: Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to the 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.

Category 2 – 96 to 110 mph: Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain 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.

Category 3 – 111-129 mph: Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed 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. (Category 3 storms and above are considered major hurricanes).

Category 4 – 130-156 mph: Catastrophic damage will occur: 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.

Category 5 – 157 or higher: Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed 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. 

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Grand Avenue closed off due to tree down on multiple vehicles 

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:01 PM

Grand Avenue closed due to tree falling on multiple vehicles

City of Dayton police have blocked off Grand Avenue due to a tree falling on multiple cars.

Crews were dispatched at approximately 6:30 p.m. to the 500 block of Grand Ave. after the tree fell on two vehicles, knocking a light pole down. No injuries were reported.

Crews are working to clear the scene and will reopen the roadway as soon as DP&L confirms there are no safety hazards, regional dispatch said. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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LATEST: Rumpke trash truck pulled from Xenia nursing home it rammed

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 9:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 2:22 PM

Trash truck strikes nursing home in Xenia

UPDATE @ 2:15 p.m.: The Rumpke trash truck has been pulled from the building it crashed into this morning. 

PHOTOS: Trash truck crashes into front of nursing home

The office the Rumpke trash truck hit was the home administrator's office, Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said. The nursing home administrator was in the front of the building and was not injured. 

"We've had some of these issues before [a car hit the treasurer's office on Main Street some time ago]... I wasn't expecting to see a trash truck actually inside our building," he said. 

This is the damage done to the Greenwood Manor Nursing Home in Xenia when a Rumpke trash truck crashed into it Thursday morning. (Marshall Gorby/Staff)

Huddleson said, "by the grace of God, the folks that were in those offices were out in the field or out in other places in the building." 

He noted it's hard to imagine that anyone who would have been in the building could have escaped. 

There are about 50 residents in the building, but the entire wing where the truck hit is all administrative/maintenance offices.

There was some ancillary flooding in the damaged portion of the building, because of the sprinkler system that activated. Otherwise, he said, it's business as usual at the nursing home.

UPDATE @ 12:45 p.m.: 

A building support will have to be installed at the Greenwood Manor nursing home before the Rumpke trash truck lodged inside a wing of offices can be pulled out, Greene County building inspectors said.

No employees were in the wing when the truck crashed into the home, 711 Dayton Xenia Road, about 8:45 a.m. 

A Rumpke official said the company and police are continuing to investigate the incident. 

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The trash truck driver was taken to Greene Memorial Hospital, where he was to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, Xenia police said. 

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Marshall Gorby/Staff


A trash truck has crashed into a nursing home on Dayton Xenia Road in Xenia Thursday morning. 

Fire crews were initially dispatched to the Greenwood Manor,  711 Dayton Xenia Road, around 8:45 a.m. on reports of a fire alarm from the building. 

Marshall Gorby/Staff

While crews were still responding, dispatchers said a trash truck had crashed into the building. 

Initial reports indicate one person was injured in the crash and the wing where the crash occurred has been evacuated. 

Additional details were not available. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

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Flash flood watch for most as storms bring heavy downpours 

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 4:21 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 4:25 PM

Multiple chances for showers and storms today in the Dayton area.


Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, Warren and Wayne (Indiana).

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 


  • Rain, heavy at times through the evening
  • Storms Friday could be strong
  • Rain chances decrease by Sunday

>> 5-Day Forecast


This evening: A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for most of the region until midnight. Rain will be likely, but gradually decrease in coverage through the evening, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said. Temperatures will hold to around 70 degrees.

>>LIVE Doppler 7 Interactive HD Radar

Overnight: Expect mostly cloudy skies with a chance for lingering showers. A rumble of thunder is possible. Temperatures will drop into the upper 60s.

Friday: Partly sunny skies are expected to start the day with scattered thunderstorms developing. While the overall severe weather threat is low, one or two storms could become severe with isolated wind damage or even a tornado possible. Highs will be near 80 degrees.

>> County-by-County Weather 

Saturday: Expect a mix of sun and clouds and a chance for a few passing showers or storms. Highs will hold in the upper 70s.

Sunday: Partly sunny skies will end the weekend with a slight chance for a pop-up shower or storm. Highs will reach back into the lower 80s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Monday: Mostly sunny skies will start the new week with highs in the lower 80s.

Tuesday: Skies will be partly cloudy with highs in the lower 80s.

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Semitrailer driver to be cited in crash on U.S. 35 West Bypass in Xenia

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 1:37 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 6:33 PM

U.S. 35 West in Xenia shuts down after semi crashes in guardrail

UPDATE @ 6:22 p.m.: The driver of a semitrailer that crashed on the U.S. 35 West Bypass in Xenia will be cited for speeding and failure to control after his explanation to authorities -- that a deer ran out in front of his rig -- was knocked down by witnesses, said Sgt. Matt Cleaveland, Xenia Post, Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

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The driver, who was not identified by name, was not injured and managed to climb out of the wreckage on his own, the sergeant said, but admitted that he was driving at 68 mph in heavy rain in a zone where the posted speed limit is 45 mph. 

Cleaveland said the driver lost control of the rig, which went off the left side of the road and then the right before crashing through guardrail and coming to rest on its side down a 30-foot embankment. 

A heavy downpour was occurring at the time of the accident, which was reported just after 1 p.m., the sergeant said.

Traffic is being rerouted off U.S. 35 West in Xenia on Thursday afternoon after a semitrailer crashed down an embankment near the highway split at the Xenia business district. (Chuck Hamlin/Staff)

A section of guardrail had to be cut away and the trailer, which was carrying an estimated 5,000 pounds of brake drums, had to be taken apart as well. 

Traffic on the bypass was rerouted to U.S. 68 and into Xenia, then back onto U.S. 35 West. 

The bypass is expected to be cleared fully by 7 p.m., the sergeant said.

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