For any Floridian who has lived in the state through a major hurricane, it should not come as a surprise that a hurricane that strikes the East Coast of the state can produce serious wind storm damage on the West Coast. You do not have to be within the path of the hurricane's eye-or even within the bands outside it-to experience significant wind storm damage that can leave your home with serious property damage. Indeed, as a recent report from Bay News 9 explained, Hurricane Matthew moved relatively quickly out of Florida and never posed a risk of a direct hit to cities in West Central Florida, yet many of those locations experienced power outages as a result of the dangerous winds from this hurricane.
Millions Without Power Due to Hurricane Matthew
As the report explains, anytime a hurricane creeps along Florida's East Coast, residents of West Central Florida still need to be extremely cautious, and they need to take steps to prevent wind storm damage on their properties. Hurricane Matthew left one million residents of the state without power, and many of those residents are located in St. Petersburg. The report indicates that the Tampa Bay area experienced wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour, with the highest wind gusts recorded in Manatee County and Pinellas County. The following show the wind gusts reported in West Central Florida as the eye of Hurricane Matthew scraped the East Coast of the state near Cape Canaveral:
● Hillsborough County: wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour in Tampa and MacDill;
● Manatee County: gusts as high as 44 miles per hour in Anna Marie, 42 miles per hour in Palmetto, and 40 miles per hour around the Sarasota/Bradenton airport;
● Pinellas County: wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour logged at Clearwater Beach, 44 mile per hour gusts in Tarpon springs, and gusts of up to 39 miles per hour at the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport; and
● Polk County: wind gusts up to 44 miles per hour in Eagle Lake; 43 miles per hour in Dundee, 42 miles per hour in Frostproof, and 38 miles per hour in both Winter Haven and Bartow.
While sustained tropical storm-force winds were not recorded in the Tampa Bay area, the dangerous gusts nonetheless produced windstorm damage, including power outages, in many neighborhoods. A day after the storm approached, boating conditions remained "extremely hazardous" in the Gulf of Mexico due to the force of the winds that impacted the West Coast.
How Hurricane Force Winds Impact Homes in Florida
According to a fact sheet from Science and Society, hurricane force winds are not only a risk to properties in Florida because of their ability to exert pressure on a building. In addition to the differential pressures that a hurricane can exact on a structure, winds can also cause secondary damage. For instance, hurricane force winds, and even tropical storm force wind gusts, can blow down power lines, resulting in dangerous situations. In addition, strong winds can launch debris into the air that can act as projectiles, causing both property damage and bodily harm. In some cases, winds can bring down trees, causing damage to your house and surrounding property.
Contact a West Central Florida Wind Storm Damage Attorney
If your home sustained wind storm damage after the recent storm, you should discuss your claim with an experienced West Central Florida wind storm damage lawyer. Contact the Wells Law Group, P.A. today.