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With Idalia, Florida braces for another major ‘I’ storm. Here are some past hurricanes

Ian, Irma, Ivan and now Idalia.

Hurricanes starting with the letter “I” have produced major impacts in Florida over the years.

Idalia is a tropical storm near western Cuba as of Monday, but it is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall in Florida sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest forecast.

The naming of tropical storms and hurricanes started in the early 1950s. By 1979, male and female names were given to storms in the Atlantic basin, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Names are picked on a six-year rotating basis with some names getting retired after use. This, though, is not done by the National Hurricane Center. Rather, the World Meteorological Organization chooses the storm names.

No letter has produced more retired hurricane names than “I” storms.

Ida was the 12th “I” hurricane retired, the Seattle Times reported, before last year’s devastating Ian made it a baker’s dozen for the letter.

Others retired include Ione, Inez, Iris, Isidore, Isabel, Ivan, Ike, Igor, Irene, Ingrid and Irma.

Here’s a look at some of the retired hurricane names and their impacts:

Hurricane Ian

On Sept. 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds at 150 miles per hour. Its impact to Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties was devastating, but just the start as it cut through central Florida in a northeastern fashion to Jacksonville and out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Once there, Ian regained strength before barreling into Charleston, South Carolina.

In total, Ian was recorded as the third-costliest hurricane in U.S. history.

A car drives down El Conquistador Parkway in Bradenton where a line of trees fell down following Hurricane Ian on Sept. 29, 2022.
A car drives down El Conquistador Parkway in Bradenton where a line of trees fell down following Hurricane Ian on Sept. 29, 2022.

Hurricane Irma

Like the more recent Ian, Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 storm in 2017. Irma weakened slightly into a Category 4 hurricane when it ravaged the Florida Keys. Then Irma headed toward southwest Florida.

After initially having a projected path toward Tampa Bay, the storm continued to shift before making landfall for a second time in Florida.

This time, it was a Category 3 hurricane making landfall near Marco Island. Irma caused more than $62 billion in damages in adjusted cost based on the 2023 Consumer Price Index, according to the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information costliest tropical cyclone report.

Despite not making initial landfall directly in Manatee County, the area was not spared any damage from the storm.

A mobile home suffered roof damage in the 6600 block of Cortez Road in Bradenton in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
A mobile home suffered roof damage in the 6600 block of Cortez Road in Bradenton in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Ivan

Similar to Ian and Irma, Ivan was also a major September hurricane. Reaching Category 5 status in 2004, Hurricane Ivan did not make its initial landfall in Florida when it came to the United States.

Rather, it left a destructive Caribbean path and landed just west of Gulf Shores, Alabama. However, the outer bands made an impact in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties along Florida’s panhandle.

Ivan had a historic storm surge at the time and packed winds reaching 120 miles per hour. Hurricane Ivan dealt the highest rainfall totals to Pensacola. A total of 15.79 inches were tallied in Pensacola over a 48-hour period.

The storm also looped back around into the Atlantic and through South Florida.