When an especially
destructive hurricane causes severe damage to a region, the affected
country can request that its name be "retired" from
the official naming list. Retirement shows respect for those whose
lives were affected by the storm and avoids future confusion in
legal and business matters having to do with storm damage. The
World Meteorological Association decides which hurricane names
will be retired.
following is a list of retired Atlantic basin hurricane names
a Category 1 storm, killed an estimated 51 people when it struck
islands in the Caribbean Sea and parts of Central America before
continuing into the Pacific, where it was renamed Douglas. Most
of Cesar's victims were killed by floods, which were devastating
The National Hurricane Center described Hurricane Floyd as a "large
and intense" storm. Floyd was a Category 4 storm that reached
the "threshold" of Category 5 before striking North
Carolina and the eastern seaboard of the United States. Floyd
caused major flooding and killed an estimated 57 people.
Hurricane Fran reached Category 3 strength before striking
North Carolina. Fran caused storm surge flooding, wind damage
and extensive rainfall that led to floods as far inland as Pennsylvania.
Flooding from Fran was responsible for an estimated 34 deaths.
Hortense was a "wet" Category 4 storm that dumped torrential
rains on Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic before continuing
northward to Nova Scotia. Hortense's flooding killed an estimated
Lenny became the fifth Category 4 hurricane to develop in 1999,
setting a record for the most Category 4 storms in a single season.
Lenny brought high winds, storm surge and flooding from rainfall
to the islands of the Caribbean Sea, killing an estimated 17 people.
Luis was a Category 4 hurricane that "wreaked harm and
havoc" on some of the Caribbean's Leeward Islands (St. Martin,
Antigua, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe) before moving north
to Newfoundland. Luis's high winds and floods killed an estimated
17 people and caused beach erosion and severe damage to structures.
Marilyn was a Category 2 storm that was close to Category 3 strength
when it struck the U.S. Virgin Islands. Marilyn killed an estimated
18 people, destroyed 80 percent of the homes and businesses on
St. Thomas and left 10,000 people homeless.
Mitch, a Category 5 hurricane, was one of the deadliest storms
in history, killing an estimated 9,000 people, most of whom died
in massive floods as the storm dumped torrential rains on Honduras,
Nicaragua and El Salvador. Mitch destroyed around 50 percent of
Honduran crops and damaged 70,000 homes from Central America to
Florida, where it spawned devastating tornadoes.
Opal was a Category 3 storm that brought devastating floods to
areas of Mexico and Guatemala before continuing on to Pensacola,
Fla. Opal killed an estimated 59 people, most of whom perished
in floods near the Mexico-Guatemala border. Opal's storm surge
caused extensive damage to areas along the Florida panhandle.
At the time, Opal was the first major hurricane to hit Florida's
Gulf Coast in 20 years.
Roxanne was a Category 3 storm when it struck the Yucatan Peninsula
and continued a slow, deadly march along the Mexican coast causing
floods and further destruction to areas that had just been slammed
by Hurricane Opal. Roxanne killed an estimated 14 people.
NOAA, National Hurricane Center
By Jason Manning, Online NewsHour