Hurricane Names Retired after Damage to Caribbean


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday that three Atlantic hurricane names—Gustav, Ike and Paloma–have been retired after those storms killed more than 200 people in the Caribbean region during the 2008 season, leaving billions in damage. Within the normal six-year rotation, the names would have been used again in 2014. They have been replaced by Gonzalo, Isaias and Paulette. Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade County, said storm names are retired “for reasons of sensitivity. That’s why you’ll never hear the name Katrina again or Andrew, for that matter. It would be very inappropriate.”

Hurricane Gustav killed 112 people. It struck Haiti in August as a Category 1 hurricane, killing 77. It then struck Cuba as a Category 4 system. It made landfall again near Cocodrie, La., on Sept. 1 as a Category 2 hurricane, causing more than $4 billion in damage. Hurricane Ike killed more than 80 people across the Caribbean and Bahamas, and another 20 in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas in early September. It caused about $19.3 billion in damage. Ike struck the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Southeastern Bahamas and Cuba as a major system on Sept. 7. Ike hit Galveston Island, Texas on Sept. 13 as a Category 2 system.
Paloma became the second strongest November hurricane on record, reaching Category 4. The system struck Cuba, destroying more than 1,400 homes and causing about $300 million in damage, according to the Cuban government.

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