The hurricane's intense winds, waves, rains and storm surge were responsible for at least 45 deaths across ten countries and caused estimated damages of US$1.5 billion. First impacting the islands of the Lesser Antilles, Dean's path through the Caribbean devastated agricultural crops, particularly those of Martinique and Jamaica. Upon reaching Mexico, Hurricane Dean was a Category 5 storm, but it missed major population centers and its exceptional Category 5 strength landfall caused no deaths and less damage than in the Caribbean islands it passed as a Category 2 storm.
Through the affected regions, cleanup and repair took months to complete. Donations solicited by international aid organizations joined national funds in clearing roads, rebuilding houses, and replanting destroyed crops. In Jamaica, where the damage was worst, banana production did not return to pre-storm levels for over a year. Mexico's tourist industry, too, took almost a year to rebuild its damaged cruise ship infrastructure.
Dean was the first hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin at Category 5 intensity in 15 years; the last storm to do so was Hurricane Andrew on August 24, 1992. Dean's Category 5 landfall was in a sparsely populated area and thus far less damaging than Andrew's, even though Dean was much larger, but its long swath of damage earned its name retirement from the World Meteorological Organization's Atlantic hurricane naming lists.