“Hurricane Irene is hanging onto its strength, blasting the East Coast with 85 mile an hour winds.”
It’s not unusual for the World Meteorological Organization to retire hurricane names. Irene was responsible for 49 deaths and caused almost $16 billion in damage last August.
Dennis Feltgen is with the National Hurricane Center.
“So many of these hurricanes have had incredibly horrific impacts on so many people and you look back in the past where we have names like Andrew and Betsy and of course Katrina. Those are names that will never be used again. There’s just the mental impact alone of having a name of that storm coming back at you as soon as six years later in the six year rotation list. It’s just not something you would want to have happen.”
A number of storms that have slammed Texas over the years are already on that retired list.
“Alicia is a great example in 1983. It was one of only four storms for the entire 1983 season, but it was the one storm that was a major hurricane and struck land and that name was long retired. Other names that have impacted the state of Texas go way back, would include Hurricane Audrey in 1957. That’s a memorable storm whose name will never be used again. Allen in 1980 another good example.”
Hurricanes have only been named since 1953, so the 1900 storm in Galveston doesn’t have an official name. There are 21 hurricane names on a list for this upcoming hurricane season. That list gets reused every six years. The next storm name up is Alberto. The Atlantic hurricane season begins in June.