• Hurricane Michael: Waffle House in Panama City severely damaged

    By: Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Waffle House locations almost never close -- but at least one in Bay County, Florida closed up shop ahead of the Hurricane Michael. 

    As it turns out, it was a good decision. Video showed this location in Panama City severely damaged by a large metal pole:

    ORIGINAL STORY: If the forecasts from meteorologists weren’t enough indication of the possible severity of Hurricane Michael in the Panhandle, this alternative tracking method might -- the Waffle House in Panama City is closed.

    With more than 1,500 restaurant locations across the Southeast that are typically open 24 hours every day of the year, a closure is a big deal, so much so that emergency officials informally determine how bad a storm is based on the Waffle House Index. 

    “If a Waffle House store is open and offering a full menu, the index is green. If it is open but serving from a limited menu, it’s yellow. When the location has been forced to close, the index is red. Because Waffle House is well-prepared for disasters… it’s rare for the index to hit red,” according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    The Panama City location is expected to reopen after Hurricane Michael passes.

    The Category 4 storm has 140 mph sustained winds and is expected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon.

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