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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has retired the name Sandy from the list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names due to the extensive damage it caused in October 2012.
Sandy will be replaced by Sara beginning in 2018.
Storm names are used every six years, but when a storm is especially deadly or causes catastrophic damage, the name may be retired by the WMO hurricane committee. A new name of the same gender will then be chosen.
Sandy is the 77th name to be retired since 1954.
Sandy was a late-season hurricane in the southwestern Caribbean Sea in 2012. The cyclone made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) in Jamaica, and as a 115 mph Category 3 hurricane in eastern Cuba.
Hurricane Sandy merged with a frontal system hours before making landfall as a post-tropical cyclone near Brigantine, NJ, and its size and strength caused catastrophic damage all along the mid-Atlantic shoreline.
Because of its tremendous size, Sandy drove a catastrophic storm surge into the New Jersey and New York coastlines. Preliminary U.S. damage estimates are near $50 billion, making Sandy the second-costliest cyclone since Katrina to hit the United States.
There were at least 147 direct deaths recorded across the Atlantic basin due to Sandy, with 72 of these fatalities occurring in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States.
Sandy caused the greatest number of U.S. direct fatalities related to a tropical cyclone outside of the southern states since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
For more information on Hurricane Sandy, click here.