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Following last hurricane season’s catastrophic impacts which impacted millions in the Caribbean and United States, the names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate have officially been retired from the Atlantic tropical storm list.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which controls the naming procedures of tropical cyclones, officially announced the decision on Thursday.
The names Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel were added as replacements to the list of names, which will return in 2023.
Hurricane names are retired after a storm becomes so deadly or destructive that using it again in the future would be considered insensitive. There are six separate lists of 21 names, which rotate annually.
Harvey blasted southeastern Texas in late August, making it the first major hurricane to strike the U.S. since Wilma in October 2005.
At least 68 deaths were reported in Texas due to Harvey, the most fatalities from a tropical cyclone in the state since 1919. The storms is now the second costliest in U.S. history behind only Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
As the storm stalled, it brought historic and devastating flooding to parts of Texas and the Gulf Coast, including Houston. The storm produced 60.58 inches of rain near Nederland, Texas, the highest rainfall total ever produced by a tropical cyclone in the U.S.
As the damage and devastation from Harvey was still being uncovered, another powerful hurricane was targeting Florida.
Like Harvey, Irma made landfall as a Category 4 storm. The storm first battered the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, before moving up Florida's western coast.
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Irma was blamed for 44 direct deaths across the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. in addition to another 85 indirect deaths. Hundreds were left injured and the storm’s winds and flooding caused an estimated $50 billion in damage.
Not long after Irma came Maria. After first ruining the island of Dominica, Maria ravaged Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane on Sept. 20. Some parts of the island still are without power more than six months after the storm.
Maria became the third costliest hurricane in U.S. history behind Harvey and Katrina.
The 2017 season marked the first time on record three Category 4 hurricanes had made landfall in the U.S. in the same season.
Nate was the ninth hurricane of the 2017 season. The storm was blamed for 44 deaths in Central America before eventually taking aim at the central Gulf Coast.
It made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane first near the mouth of the Mississippi River on Oct. 7 and then near Biloxi, Mississippi, on Oct. 8. Nate brought storm surge flooding and high winds to the Gulf Coast states and two deaths due to rip currents were attributed to the storm in Alabama.
Damage costs from last season's hurricanes are expected to exceed more than $250 billion in the U.S. alone.
The most retired storm names for one season is five back in 2005. Including the four retired names from 2017, 86 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1954 when the process began.
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