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Waffle House closes in Panama City Beach, meaning Hurricane Michael is bad

Restaurant that never closes is officially closed

(Credit: Ryan Kruger)
(Credit: Ryan Kruger)

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – You know a hurricane is bad when Waffle House closes one of its restaurants. 

Ryan Kruger, of 11Alive, found a Waffle House in Panama City Beach that was closed. That’s something you don’t see every day.

In his Facebook live video shown below, Kruger said, “I don’t know I’ve ever seen that in my entire life.” 

The restaurant, located on Highway 30-A just across the street from the beach, can be seen with hurricane shutters around the building and a sign on the front door that says closed. 

Kruger concluded with, “And the restaurant that never closes is officially closed.”

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The “Waffle House Index” was coined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to measure the toll of a natural disaster, meaning, if a Waffle House closes, the federal government deems the area will take a major hit.

"The Waffle House test just doesn't tell us how quickly a business might rebound --- it also tells how the larger community is faring," FEMA said in a 2011 blog post when Craig Fugate was administrator.

"They are open most of the time. And that was the index. If a Waffle House is closed because there's a disaster, it's bad. We call it red. If they're open but have a limited menu, that's yellow," Fugate said. "If they're green, we're good, keep going. You haven't found the bad stuff yet."

How bad could Hurricane Michael be for Panama City Beach? They closed down the Waffle House already!

Posted by Ryan Kruger 11Alive on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

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