Hurricane season may have been quiet around here, but it was actually a very active season. With $54 billion in damage, it was the second most destructive season on record behind only the 2005 season. Here's a look back at the 2008 hurricane season. The season got off to an early start with Tropical Storm Arthur on May 30th, but then things were quiet until Bertha developed on July 1st. By July 20th, there were three active storms, Hurricane Bertha, Tropical Storm Cristobal and Hurricane Dolly. It was the earliest date on record when three storms were active on the same day. Bertha was the longest-living July storm on record in the Atlantic. The system only caused minor damage and no deaths. Tropical Storm Cristobal brushed our coast in late July bringing us only a small amount of rain. Dolly was the second hurricane of the season and made landfall in south Texas as a category two. Fay was a memorable tropical storm, because it made four different landfalls across Florida. Some parts of the soaking wet Sunshine State received more than two feet of rain. Next was Gustav, which was a major hurricane that made landfall in Louisiana causing over $15 billion in damage. We were cautious locally as Hanna made landfall near the N.S. / S.C. border. While we had strong tropical storm force winds, local rainfall was only 2 to 4 inches. Second Street, on Ocean Isle Beach, was destroyed by the storm. But Hanna's reputation was fierce, while in the Caribbean she was the deadliest storm of the season with over 500 deaths in Haiti. Hurricane Ike was a large, powerful storm that initially looked like it might hit New Orleans. But steering winds pushed Ike into Texas with landfall at Galveston. Ike grew into a category 4 monster. Even though it weakened to category 2 at landfall, it dealt a devastating blow to southeastern Texas. Hurricane Kyle brought torrential rains to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. Omar was the seventh hurricane of the season. It quickly developed into a major hurricane and caused damage in parts of the Caribbean. The last storm was Hurricane Paloma. This was only the fourth storm to bear a "p" name in the Atlantic since naming began in 1950. This category 4 storm was the second strongest November hurricane in recorded history. While the 2008 hurricane season has not been too bad for us, it was anything but a mild year. This was the second time since 2005 that at least four category 4 storms developed in a single year. Remember, any hurricane that reaches category 3 strength or higher is a "major" hurricane. This year, for the first time ever, a major hurricane was present in every month from July through November and for the first time on record, six consecutive tropical cyclones made landfall on the U.S. mainland. That was all the storms from Hurricane Dolly through Hurricane Ike.
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