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American fast food chain Waffle House closes several locations in Florida due to Hurricane Ian making landfall.

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The beloved restaurant franchise is known for staying open even in inclement weather. The decision to close before the hurricane made landfall was seen as a bad omen, according to the so-called Waffle House index.

FLORIDA POWER OUT DURING HURRICANE IAN UPDATED

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As of Wednesday morning, 21 establishments were closed. It is reported by USA Today.

“We have closed mandatory evacuation zones and areas in low-lying areas that are prone to severe flooding,” Waffle House spokesman Njeri Boss said.

The Waffle House Index, which was launched with Hurricane Charley during the 2004 hurricane season, assigns color codes to measure the condition of areas affected by the hurricane.

“Waffle House has become almost a rough guide,” former FEMA director Craig Fugate, the index’s creator, told FOX Business during Hurricane Dorian in 2019. “If it was open and had a full menu, we probably wouldn’t be in the hardest hit areas yet.”

Such a scenario was marked in green.

A restaurant that was open with a limited menu that was likely not available in the hardest-hit area was marked in yellow. Any restaurant that was closed was red.

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Power outages began to affect Lee, Collier, and Sarasota counties, as well as other locations in southwest Florida.

A Florida man looks out over the ocean ahead of Hurricane Yan

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The director of the National Weather Service, Ken Graham, called. Hurricane Yan – “Historic Event” which will be spoken of “for many years”.

“I wish it wasn’t a prediction that I had to make,” Graham said on Wednesday. “I would like it not to be a forecast that is about to come true. This is a devastating storm for parts of Florida, not just on the southwest coast but inland, associated with some of these impacts.”

“This is going to be a storm that we’ll be talking about for years to come,” Graham said.