Today -- November 30 -- the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season officially comes to a close. In terms of hurricanes, the six hurricanes this year mean that it was only slightly above average. The season's 19 tropical storms, however, make it the third most active tropical storm season since 1851, the first year records were recorded.
For people living along the Gulf and Southeast Atlantic coasts, 2011 will be remembered as a quiet year; there were no hurricanes or tropical storms. But for anyone living near the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern coasts, their memories of the 2011 hurricane season are likely to be far different, even though only a single hurricane -- Irene -- came ashore.
By historical standards, Irene didn't pack much of a punch; it came ashore as a category one hurricane and was soon downgraded to a tropical storm. Its path however, swept up some of the most populated areas of the Atlantic seaboard, from North Carolina to New England, inflicting close to $10.1 billion worth of damage, including $500 million to boats. In terms of destruction, Irene -- a relatively "minor" storm -- was the 12th costliest hurricane in U.S. history.
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