Why do winds from Derecho storms cause so much damage?

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The May 2022 Derecho in Ontario only lasted 20 minutes, but it destroyed our city. I watched it pull 60ft trees out of the ground, and throw 2ft wide branches through roofs. It took down hundreds of hydro poles, and we were without power for a week. The winds only hit 120km at peak, and really didn’t last that long. The whole storm was over in less than a half hour, but it looked more like an F1 tornado or category 2 hurricane went through our entire town. Was the destruction just the result of high winds, or is there something special about Derecho winds?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

>The whole storm was over in less than a half hour, but it looked more like an F1 tornado or category 2 hurricane that went through our entire town.

That looks like a F1 tornado might not be surprising because there ws F2 tornadoes in the storm. A F1 tornado is weaker than a F2

If you look at the wind speed on [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_2022_Canadian_derecho](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_2022_Canadian_derecho) it is listed as peek messured gust was 143km/h and the peek estimated was 190km/h so a lot more then 120km/h

The duration is not necessarily that relevant, look at tornadoes that pass over the peak wind speed would be less than a minute so that the storm was 30 minutes is not relevant of the wind speed are strong enough to do imidate damage.

The damage of a storm can also depend on where it is. The building regulations are not the same everywhere. So a building build according to code in Ontario could get more damage than one build in a place with lots of strong storms.

If strong storms are not common everything vulnerable can fall down during a short period of time. So weekend trees can stand for longe untill a stong enough storm damage them. So insted of spread out over multiple storms that could be weaker over a long time you can get all of it during a single storm. The same for building, powerlines etc.