Meteorologists have downgraded Hurricane Matthew from a category 4 storm to a category 3, but that doesn’t mean residents along the southeast coast can relax.
In the video above (from 2013 but very relevant to today) Weather Channel meteorologist Mark Elliot makes clear “downgraded” is a relative term. And regarding Hurricane Matthew, it only means we’ve stepped down from “catastrophic” to “devastating.”
The upper end of a category 3 storm has winds up to 130 mph. That’s strong enough to blow in the door of your house, completely destroy weaker structures like mobile homes, and snap trees in half.
“People should not be looking at the damages they’re seeing and saying this storm is not that bad,” Federal Emergency Management Agency director Craig Fugate told NBC of Hurricane Matthew. “It’s still a very dangerous situation.”
We should also expect additional damage from flooding, and The National Hurricane Center warns electricity and water may be unavailable in hard hit areas for “several days to weeks” after a category 3 storm passes.