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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate are storm names that don’t bear repeating.

Due to the extensive damage these storms did in the U.S. and Caribbean last year, the World Meteorological Organization has decided to retire them as storm names.

Storm names are retired if they were so deadly or destructive that the future use of the name would be insensitive. Otherwise, names are reused on a six-year cycle.

Harold, Idalia, Margot, and Nigel have been chosen as the replacement names and they will used beginning in 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

Including these four additions, there have been 86 names retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1954, when storms began to be named. The 2005 hurricane season has the most retired names, five for one season.

Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm when it made landfall along the middle Texas coast on August 25th. The storm then stalled near the coast for four days, dropping historic rainfall amounts and causing catastrophic flooding. Harvey is the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history (after inflation), behind only Katrina in 2005. At least 68 people died from the direct effects of the storm.

Hurricane Irma reached Category 5 intensity on September 5th. It made seven landfalls, four of which occurred as a Category 5 hurricane across the northern Caribbean Islands. Irma made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in the Florida Keys on September 10the and struck southwestern Florida as a Category 3 the same day.

Irma’s strong winds, heavy rain, and high surf resulted in 44 direct deaths. In the U.S., seven direct deaths were reported, and an additional 85 indirect deaths occurred, 80 of which were in Florida.

Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Dominica as a Category 5 on September 19th and later devastated Puerto Rico as a high-end Category 4 hurricane. It also inflicted serious damage on some of the other islands of the northeastern Caribbean Sea. Maria is the third costliest hurricane in U.S. history, behind Harvey and Katrina.

Maria caused 31 direct deaths with 34 missing in Dominica, and two direct deaths in Guadeloupe. In Puerto Rico, the death toll stands at 65, which includes an unknown number of indirect deaths.

Hurricane Nate crossed northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras as a tropical storm, then made landfall on the northern Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane. It brought rainfall that caused significant impacts in Central America and caused 44 deaths in the region. An additional fatality in Panama was due to a “shipwreck,” bringing the death toll directly associated with Nate to 45.


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