MIAMI (AP) —Sandy is being retired from the list of tropical storm names because of the catastrophic damage its massive size and strength caused along the East Coast last year.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials say the name Sara will take its place. Sandy was retired Thursday from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical storm names by the World Meteorological Organization's hurricane committee. Storm names are recycled every six years unless they're retired because of extreme damage or a considerable number of casualties. Sandy is the 77th storm name taken off the list since 1954. The National Hurricane Center has attributed 72 deaths from Maryland to New Hampshire directly to Sandy, though some estimates were higher. Sandy drove a catastrophic storm surge into the New Jersey and New York coastlines, wiping out entire neighborhoods.
Preliminary U.S. damage estimates are near $50 billion, say NOAA officials, making Sandy the second-costliest cyclone since Katrina to hit the United States.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.