The name Sandy will never be used again by the National Hurricane Center.
The World Meteorological Organization struck the name from its official list for Atlantic storms because Sandy killed at least 147 people and caused estimated $50 billion in damage as it tore through the Caribbean and crashed into the coast of New Jersey in October, the U.S. center said today in a statement.
Sandy becomes the 77th name retired from the list and will be replaced with Sara beginning in 2018. Hurricane names are reused every six years. If a storm is particularly deadly or damaging, the name may be dropped to avoid confusion and show respect for the victims.
A tropical system receives a name when its sustained winds reach 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour. A committee of the Geneva-based WMO maintains the lists of names set by the Miami- based hurricane center and in other countries, according to its website. The WMO, a United Nations agency, helps coordinate international cooperation on climate and weather.
Sandy went ashore in New Jersey as a hybrid storm just hours after merging with frontal system off the East Coast. Its surge flooded parts of New York City and the New Jersey shore. In addition to the people killed directly by the storm, 87 died in its aftermath, the center said.
Sandy is also blamed for destroying or damaging 650,000 homes and knocking out power to 8.5 million customers, some for weeks, said a hurricane center analysis. It was the second- costliest system since 1900, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the center said.
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