The category of tropical storm a hurricane is in as it makes landfall actually makes a big difference on the amount of damage it could inflict.
For historical context, Hurricane Katrina reached a Category 5 storm out at sea, but hit New Orleans as a Category 3. Similarly, Hurricane Sandy was technically a post-tropical cyclone when it hit the East Coast, though it was a Category 3 at one point. Its storm surge reached 8 feet in parts of New Jersey.
So what do the categories mean?
And what could the damage be if a hurricane were to make landfall as a tropical storm, or a Category 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 — or even 7?