Just how dangerous is Hurricane Matthew? Here’s one measure: Waffle House has closed nine of its restaurants in South Carolina.
The Georgia-based breakfast chain prides itself on serving up All Star Specials 24 hours a day, no matter the conditions. Speculation about whether its buildings even have locks is the stuff of urban legend. And when it comes to assessing the damage of a hurricane, even the Federal Emergency Management Agency takes a cue from the chain.
When you see a Waffle House that’s closed, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has said, you know it’s bad.
The nine closed restaurants include seven in the tri-county area, about a third of the area’s Waffle Houses. Company spokeswoman Kelly Thrasher-Bruner says three are closed on Savannah Highway and one each in Ladson, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and Summerville. Two stores are closed in Beaufort.
That’s a big change from late Friday afternoon, when the company had closed just one restaurant in the state — in Beaufort.
But South Carolina wasn’t the only state where Waffle House saw an impending threat from Matthew, which has grazed the East Coast from south Florida to Charleston. At one point Friday, the company had closed 48 locations in Florida and Georgia.
Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5703 or on Twitter @thadmoore.