WATCH: Experiment shows how even the smallest item can become like a missile in a hurricane

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hurricane-force winds are extremely powerful and can cause small debris and items to become like missiles when tossed around in the air.

David Sturm, instructional lab and lecture-demonstration specialist at the University of Maine, explains the effects of hurricane wind speeds through an experiment.

He says the key takeaway is when something is traveling at 200 mph, it can pierce through glass, paper, wood, and those things being propelled could be as light as a ping pong ball or even a piece of pine straw.

“This is an experiment which is often called a vacuum cannon. The idea is if you pull air out then you get lower pressure inside a chamber and then if you let air suddenly back in the chamber, that large air pressure will propel objects at high speeds exactly like what high speeds in a hurricane do,” Sturm said.

The experiment is not for people do to at home, but rather to learn from.

Hurricane season begins June 1 and goes through the end of Nov. 30.

You can watch another video of the experiment by clicking the link.

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