Irene retired as hurricane name after deaths, damage from 2011 storm

Waves created by Hurricane Irene knocked down the wall protecting the last two houses at the end of The Washout at Folly Beach in this August 2011 photo. (Sarah Bates/

Irene won't come tearing up the beaches again. The hurricane name has been retired after the storm last year that killed 49 people and wreaked havoc along the East Coast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday the name will be replaced by Irma.

The 2011 Hurricane Irene caused more than $15 billion in damage.

The storm didn't come ashore in South Carolina, but its high waves did millions of dollars of damage in sand erosion.

The Charleston County park on Folly Beach maybe took the worst shot. The hurricane and subsequent storms have destroyed dunes and parking lots. The main park building now stands abandoned in the tide wash of the beach. Park officials have not yet estimated the repair cost, but have spent more than $200,000 to make emergency repairs and study solutions.

Other stretches of the beach have eroded so seriously that local and state officials are pushing to speed up $15 million in renourishment funds.

In the Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge, key barrier island habitats were crippled. The Cape Island beach, annually the nesting ground for one-third of the sea turtles that nest from Georgia to North Carolina, was washed over and sliced into inlets.

Atlantic Basin hurricane names come from a revolving list kept by the World Meteorological Organization.

Storm names are reused every six years unless retired for causing considerable casualties or damage. Irene is the 76th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954.

In the U.S., 41 people died as Irene barreled up the Eastern Seaboard in late August. Five people were killed earlier in the Dominican Republic. Three died in Haiti.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.