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Hurricane names Harvey, Irma, Maria retired

Irma Radar Image, Saturday (CNN).png
Hurricane Irma Radar Image (CNN)

The World Meteorological Organization has voted to retire three names from the list used for Atlantic hurricanes due to extensive damage the storms caused in the United States and Caribbean in 2017.

The group says the names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate are being retired because those hurricanes were so deadly and destructive that using them in the future would be insensitive.

The names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate are being replaced with Harold, Idalia, Margot, and Nigel, according to the WMO.

Those names will first appear in the 2023 list of storm names, the WMO says. Ordinarily, storm names are reused on a six-year cycle.

According to the WMO, eighty-six names have been retired from the Atlantic storm list since 1953, when storms began to be named.

Hurricane Harvey became a category 4 hurricane before making landfall along the Texas coast Aug. 25. The storm dropped five feet of rain in some places, causing catastrophic flooding. It is to date the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history behind Katrina in 2005. At least 68 people died because of the storm.

Hurricane Irma reached category 5 intensity and made seven landfalls in the northern Caribbean and U.S., Irma caused 44 deaths and hundreds more were injured.

Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Dominica as a category 5 on Sept. 19, and later devastated Puerto Rico as a high-end category 4 hurricane. It is the third costliest hurricane in U.S. history and caused at least 65 deaths.

Hurricane Nate crossed Nicaragua and Honduras as a tropical storm, then made landfall along the Gulf Coast as a category 1 hurricane. It caused at least 45 deaths.

*(Hurricane information from NOAA's National Hurricane Center).