The damage a tornado can do varies on the size, strength and location. A mile-wide tornado with 200-mph winds can level an entire town, whereas a small tornado with 80-mph winds in an unpopulated area may cause no damage at all.
Some examples of the damage tornadoes can cause include leveling homes, flipping mobile homes upside down, toppling large trees, picking up cars and dropping them miles away from their original location, and pushing metal shards into tree trunks. The worst damage a tornado can cause, however, is to the lives of the people involved, since injuries and fatalities are common when a tornado hits.
One example of the damage a large tornado can do is the April 27, 2011 Hackleburg, Ala., tornado. The size of the tornado was over a mile wide, and the tornado reached wind speeds of 210 mph, according to the National Weather Service. A total of 72 people lost their lives in Hackleburg. Many of the homes in the town were destroyed, as well as businesses, several schools and a Wrangler factory. It was reported that jeans from the factory were found over 50 miles away. Parts of several roads were picked up and thrown by the tornado.Learn More
One of the worst tornado disasters in the United States occurred in 1925 across three states, killing 695 individuals in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana. Although damage from a tornado is usually less than 1600 feet wide and contact with the ground lasts only a few minutes, this tornado stayed on the ground the longest and left the longest path of damage of any recorded tornado in the United States.Full Answer >
According to a 2006 Census Bureau study, the damage left by Hurricane Katrina caused over 400,000 people throughout the Gulf Coast region to lose their homes. Many former residents remain displaced as of 2014, as the affected areas are still in the process of redevelopment.Full Answer >
Hurricanes can devastate wooded ecosystems and remove all the foliation from forest canopies, and they can change habitats so drastically that the indigenous animal populations suffer as a result. Endangered species in tropical, estuarine and coastal habitats are particularly at risk when hurricanes strike.Full Answer >
Hurricane Bertha caused an estimated $250 million to $270 million in total damage. Most of the damage caused by the hurricane occurred in North Carolina.Full Answer >