Hurricane Florence Shuts Down Wright Brothers Memorial As Carolinas Brace For The Worst

Corey Lowenstein / Getty Images

Despite having braved the impossibility of flight more than a century ago, the Wright Brothers have no plans of hanging around to brave the potential destruction that could be in store when Hurricane Florence makes landfall in the Carolinas late tonight, with the memorial shut down as Carolinians prepare for the worst. The same goes for the iconic Outer Banks Inn in an area renowned for its beachside hotels, according to reports from TMZ.

Located in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers Memorial will be closed to the public for the remainder of the week. The Outer Banks location puts the memorial in the direct impact zone of what is currently a Category 4 storm that has North Carolina, South Carolina, and parts of Virginia directly in its sights. The memorial was officially shut down on Monday as local officials have urged residents to either evacuate or make extensive preparations for what could be one of the most damaging storms seen in recent years.

The timing of Hurricane Florence’s arrival couldn’t have come at a worse time for those in charge of the Wright Brothers Memorial. Monday was supposed to mark the arrival of a replica plane that matched the very one that Orville and Wilbur Wright flew for the first time in history. It was decided that the delivery should be postponed out of fears that the plane would be immediately damaged and rendered useless after bearing the storm.

Another Outer Banks landmark that is closing up shop for Florence is the Outer Banks Inn. Fans of Nicholas Sparks will recognize the inn as the setting for one of his most successful novels, Nights In Rodanthe. The best-selling novel eventually was adapted into the 2008 film of the same name, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, that while critically panned remains a guilty pleasure in the chick flick genre. While the owners of the Outer Banks Inn, Ben and Debbie Huss, have boarded up the place and evacuated, they told TMZ that they expect the iconic seaside building to stand up to Florence.

With winds expected to reach up to 156 mph, that would be tough ask for even the most well built of homes, but we all stand in support and hope for the best as one of the most beautiful places in the United States faces a serious crisis.

A few other famous locations will fall within the range of Florence’s potential destruction, as scenes from Dawson’s Creek, Safe Haven, and I Know What You Did Last Summer were all filmed in the area.