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Hurricane names Florence, Michael retired by meteorologists

MIAMI (AP) — The names of two hurricanes that caused widespread devastation from Florida to Virginia last year have been retired.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Florence and Michael will be replaced with Francine and Milton. The new names will first appear during the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.

Names are retired when hurricanes are so destructive that recycling them would be insensitive. Eighty-eight names have been dropped from the list for the Atlantic and Caribbean since storms were first named in 1953.

According to a NOAA statement Wednesday, Florence caused at least 51 deaths in September amid record flooding across the Carolinas and Virginia.

Michael made landfall in October with 155-mph (250-kph) winds. The hurricane was blamed for at least 45 deaths from Florida's Panhandle through Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

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