|2011 served up 19 name storms|
The 2011 hurricane season officially ended Nov. 30, serving up 19 named storms and seven hurricanes — just about what experts had predicted in yet another very busy year.
Irene, the first hurricane of the season, barely missed the Turks and Caicos Islands on Aug. 23, causing relatively minor damage. Luckily, it was the only real threat for us so far this year.
But Irene wreaked havoc elsewhere as she strenghtened after crossing the TCI.
She caused extensive damage in the Bahamas and skirted Florida, then made landfall over North Carolina’s Outer Banks and southeastern Virginia.
Irene went back to sea briefly, then made a second landfall in New Jersey, before finally making its third U.S. landfall Aug. 28 in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York, shutting down much of “the city that never sleeps.”
Irene caused at least 56 deaths. Damages were estimated to be as high as $3.1 billion in the Caribbean and $10-15 billion in the U.S.
There have been late season hurricanes during the last four years, including Hurricane Tomas that crossed directly over the island of East Caicos on Nov. 6, 2010, with 75 mph winds, luckily causing little damage.
That was first time since the beginning of reliable hurricane records in 1851 that there have been four consecutive years with a late-season November or December hurricane in the Atlantic, according to Dr. Jeff Masters of wunderground.com.
In the past 20 years, late-season hurricanes have become 3.5 times more frequent, according to Masters. There have been 15 late-season hurricanes, and five of those occurred in the Caribbean.
So as hurricane season gives way to the holiday season, remember that you must always be prepared.
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