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Waffle House reopens in Panama City after Hurricane Michael

News4Jax photo - Vic Micolucci WJXT ‏

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – UPDATE: Waffle House reopened two days after Hurricane Michael tore through Panama City. 


As Category 4 Hurricane Michael bears down on the Florida Panhandle, the Waffle House in Panama City Beach isn't taking any chances.

The restaurant, which is typically open 24 hours a day, decided to close its doors. That's worth noting because whether the restaurant stays open is a good measure of how severe a storm is.

Channel 4 reporter Vic Micolucci is in Panama City Beach and is flabbergasted at the news.  

"Waffle House is usually our last hurrah to get a warm meal, with protein and of course sugar, and friendly service," Vic said. "We’ve spent many storm at this refuge. We saw 4 in PCB closed. That’s a sign that this is serious. Some were boarded up. Others weren't. I’m ready for my hash browns!” 

In the past, federal officials have use the Waffle House as a measure to gauge storm severity. They call it the Waffle House Index.

"The Waffle House test just doesn't tell us how quickly a business might rebound — it also tells how the larger community is faring," said a FEMA blog post from 2011. "The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores, or banks can re-open, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again — signaling a strong recovery for that community."

The restaurant is located on Highway 30-A  across from the Panama City Beach Police station. 

We will let you know when it reopens. 

About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications.