Tropical cyclones, such as hurricanes, are classified by wind speed and pressure, but this can sometimes be misleading.
It’s not always the wind that does the damage. There are exceptions of course, Andrew in 1992 did more wind damage in Homestead Florida than the water or storm surge.
With Hurricane Florence slowly weakening to a Category 2 storm with winds near 105 mph, as of 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, it won’t be the wind as much as it will be the water.
At least two feet of rain is expected in some areas.
Combined with the storm surge especially at high tide, could cause coastal areas to see 6-13 feet of water move onshore. There have been tropical storms with winds below hurricane force that caused more damage that some hurricanes.
So when you hear the category, that may be an outdated system of classification. Don’t think of it as “only” a category 1 or 2 hurricane. Storm surge and rainfall are most times more destructive and deadly.