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Hurricane Irene name retired

Hurricane Irene name retired

Last year we wrote a story surrounding the history of hurricane names (you can read that article here) and one of the things we revealed was that sometimes a hurricane name can change.

Often a hurricane will be renamed if it crosses from one ocean to another, or if it dies down and the redevelops.   If, however, a hurricane has caused a considerable amount of casualties or damage its name is not only replaced but completely retired as a mark of sensitivity and respect. 

This April, Hurricane Irene has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical storm names by the World Metrological Organisation's (WMO) hurricane committee because of the fatalities and damage it caused in August 2011.

Hurricane Irene (now replaced with Irma) is the 76th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954.  Irene caused substantial damage from the Carolinas through New England, prompting evacuations of parts of New York City and was directly responsible for 48 deaths; five in the Dominican Republic, three in Haiti, and 40 in the United States. 

Damage in the United States (including falling trees, storm surges, roofing materials falling off houses, and rainfall induced floods) is estimated to be about $15.8billion.  The hurricane also cut electrical power to more than 4 million homes across the eastern U.S.

Hurricane Irene was just one catastrophe that contributed towards a string of natural disasters in 2011 - the costliest year yet for risk sector. 

Still, insurers continue to pay out millions of claims to aid the recovery of these events, allowing those who have been affected to rebuild their lives.


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