Hurricane Florence took the lives of 51 people and caused $24 billion in damage when she plowed into our state in September. The storm caused so much devastation, the World Meteorological Organization has officially retired “Florence” from the list of Atlantic storm names. The name has been used for tropical storms since 1954.
Tropical storms started being named in 1953. When the WMO took over storm naming in the 1970s, the group produced an alphabetical list of names that would be used and reused on a six-year cycle. Starting in 2024, “Francine” will replace Florence.
Florence joins 87 other storm names that have been retired after causing so much destruction that using them again would be “insensitive,” according to WMO.
The tropical storm name “Michael” won’t see the cone of uncertainty again either. Hurricane Michael, which devastated the panhandle of Florida before dumping rain across the Southeastern U.S. in October, caused $25 billion in damage and 45 fatalities.