Sandy retired from list of tropical storm names
Almost six months after Hurricane Sandy devastated coastal communities from Cuba to the Mid-Atlantic, her name has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names. That’s what happens when a storm is so deadly or so costly that using the name again would be confusing or insensitive. Sandy joins a list of 77 such storms that includes Katrina, Rita, Irene, Andrew and Gloria. Causing an estimated $50 billion in damage and 147 deaths, Sandy was the second costliest storm, after Katrina, to hit the U.S.
Tropical storm names are reused every six years for both the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins unless they cause such extreme impacts that the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee decides to retire them. The name Sandy could have been reused again in 2018. Instead it will be replaced by the name Sara. The same six alphabetical lists have been in rotation for Atlantic basin storms for the past 60 years. The list for 2013 starts with Andrea and ends with Wendy.
Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1 and ends November 30. An early forecast issued this week by meteorologists at Colorado State University predicts an active season with 18 named tropical storms, nine of which will become hurricanes. Four of those will be major storms. “Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much or how little activity is predicted,” said Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray in their forecast.
As many people learned during Sandy and its aftermath, one way to be prepared is to make sure you have a reliable generator. Depending on what you need to power, there are two choices—a portable generator that runs on gas or propane or a stationary unit that runs on either propane or natural gas. Portable units have to be set up each time you need them and during a storm gasoline can be in short supply. Stationary units are typically more expensive but are already in place when the power goes out.
In Consumer Reports generator tests, six models made our list of top generator picks including four portable and two stationary units. Our top portable, the Troy-Bilt XP 7000 30477, $900, is 7,000 watts and has a nine-gallon tank for an average 15 hours of run time. It was easy to set up and had excellent power delivery. Our top-rated stationary, the Kohler 8.5 RES-QS7, costs $3,200 not including installation. The Kohler delivered smooth, steady power and offers 7,000 watts with natural gas and 8,500 using propane. At $1,800, the Generac CorePower 5837 stationary generator offers capable performance for roughly half the cost of the Kohler. We named it a CR Best Buy. It offers 6,000 watts using natural gas and 7,000 watts if using propane and was the only one we tested that comes with a transfer switch—usually an extra $400.