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Dean, Felix, Noel retired from hurricane name list

  • Story Highlights
  • Three storms killed hundreds of people in 2007
  • List will recycle in 2013, with Dorian, Fernand and Nestor instead
  • Since storms were first named in 1953, 70 names have been retired
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(CNN) -- Three names -- Dean, Felix and Noel -- were permanently retired from the list of Atlantic hurricane names after storms bearing those monikers in 2007 caused damage in the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and elsewhere, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday.

Hurricane Dean rages toward the Yucatan Peninsula on August 20, 2007.

Members of the organization voted to remove the names during its regional hurricane committee meeting, NOAA said in a written statement. "These names will not be used again because of the widespread destruction caused by these storms."

The list of tropical storm names recycles every six years. In 2013, the three names will be replaced with Dorian, Fernand and Nestor.

Although no storm in 2007 compared to historic hurricanes such as Andrew or Katrina, a storm doesn't have to be major to have its name retired. In 2001, for instance, Tropical Storm Allison, which never reached hurricane status, had its name retired after it dumped more than 3 feet of rain on Houston, Texas.

Since tropical storms were first named in 1953, 70 names have been retired, officials said.

A look at 2007's retirees:

• Hurricane Dean passed between St. Lucia and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea on August 17, passing just south of Jamaica as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph. The storm reached Category 5 strength -- the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity, with 165-mph winds -- before making landfall August 21 near Costa Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula. It weakened over land and then emerged into the Bay of Campeche, strengthening to Category 2 status before making a second landfall south of Tuxpan, Mexico. Dean killed 32 people across the Caribbean, the NOAA said, with the largest death tolls in Mexico and Haiti.

• Felix was the second hurricane of the 2007 season to make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, something never seen since record-keeping began in 1851. Felix became a hurricane September 1 over the southwestern Caribbean Sea and intensified quickly, reaching Category 5 status about 400 miles southeast of Jamaica. It weakened to a Category 3 but re-strengthened and made landfall as a Category 5 on September 4 at Punta Gorda, Nicaragua. Felix was responsible for 130 deaths in Nicaragua and Honduras, officials said, and caused major damage in northeastern Nicaragua and inland flooding elsewhere in Central America.

• Noel lumbered across the Dominican Republic, Haiti, eastern Cuba and the lower Bahamas before reaching Category 1 hurricane status in the northwestern Bahamas. It lost its tropical classification as it moved over the western Atlantic to near Nantucket, Massachusetts, but had 75-mph winds when it came ashore near Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. One hundred sixty people died across the Caribbean and Bahamas as a result of Noel, and the storm's winds produced widespread power outages in the United States and Canada, along with significant coastal flooding and damaging waves.

The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.

All About Hurricanes and CyclonesU.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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