Committee votes to retire Matthew after deadly October hurricane

Committee votes to retire Matthew after deadly October hurricane

The Lowcountry will never see another hurricane named Matthew.

The World Meteorological Organization, the agency that oversees the naming of storms, voted to remove Matthew from the six-year rotation of hurricane names because of numerous fatalities and the extensive damage they caused, according to the organization's website.

The organization also removed Otto from the rotation.

Matthew will be replaced by Martin, and Otto will be replaced by Owen in the rotating list of names used for tropical cyclones in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Oceans, the website states.

In October, Hurricane Matthew slammed into Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, damaging tens of thousands of homes and causing devastating flooding. It made landfall in McClellanville on Oct. 8, four days after striking southern Haiti, where officials reported 546 dead, 128 missing and 439 injured.

State officials estimated Matthew caused $205 million in timber damage alone.

Hurricane Otto was blamed for 18 deaths in Costa Rica and Panama. It made landfall in southern Nicaragua on Nov. 24, becoming the first hurricane in recorded history since 1851 to directly affect Costa Rica. Officials said it was the latest hurricane to form in a calendar year in the Caribbean Sea, the strongest hurricane on record that late into the year. It also made the latest hurricane landfall in a calendar year and it did so further south than any hurricane in Central America.

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