FORT MYERS, Fla. - While the storm surge is by far the deadliest part of a hurricane, high winds can cause fatalities along with significant structural and environmental damage.
Hurricane Charley roared ashore in 2004 moving up Charlotte Harbor as a strong Category four hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 150 mph. The damage caused by the incredible winds stretched well inland and was widespread in places like Arcadia in Desoto County.
Hurricane Charley was a category four storm, nearly a category five on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale which rates hurricanes from one to five with five being the strongest. Tropical storms become category one hurricanes when maximum sustained winds hit 74 mph and become category five hurricanes when winds hit 157mph or greater.
The last category five storm to hit the United States was Hurricane Andrew which hit South Florida back in 1992. After Andrew building codes changed in Florida and likely made a big difference in the damage that we saw here locally from Hurricane Charley.