Damaging thunderstorm winds

Saturday, December 01, 2007

  • Downburst wind gusts, commonly called "straight-line" winds, can reach speeds up to 100 mph and produce damage similar to weak tornadoes.
  • In southeast Texas, downburst wind damage is twice as common as tornado damage.
  • On average, there are seven damaging wind reports in Harris County every year.
  • Since 1950, severe wind events in Harris County have resulted in 3 deaths, 26 injuries, and $85 million dollars in damage.
Downburst winds can be stronger than the winds in some weaker tornadoes. For that reason you should treat a severe thunderstorm warning with the same concern as you would a tornado warning. You also protect yourself in the same way; stay indoors, away from outside doors and windows.

Trees, fences, and trampolines are the most common objects damaged during these high winds events. Take preventative measures to trim back tree limbs, strengthen old fences, and secure trampolines to the ground long before the next storm strikes.

(Copyright © 2007, KTRK-TV)

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