As Hurricane Florence was barreling toward the Carolinas on Thursday, one of the most dramatic displays of the storm’s power was the Frying Pan Tower webcam.
The Frying Pan Tower is a former Coast Guard lighthouse that also served as a housing platform.
Nowadays, it serves a significantly different purpose. According to its website, the tower has “been turned into a unique adventure bed & breakfast like no other” and serves as a nonprofit, kept alive by donations.
It’s located roughly 30 miles off the North Carolina coast, where visitors can visit the Atlantic Ocean’s most interesting B&B (for all I know, it’s the only one) by boat.
On Thursday, however, the only visitor was Florence, whose fury was captured on the Frying Pan Tower webcam.
As you can see from the above footage, the American flag that hangs above the rig took quite a beating — but, like the flag from Francis Scott Key’s most famous work, it was still there. It might have been whipped and beaten by the winds and the rain, but the stars and stripes still held on as the storm gave it all it had.
It’s worth noting that the Flag Code advises that Old Glory “should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.” Hurricanes certainly qualify under the aegis of that.
However, it’s also worth noting that on an offshore lighthouse-turned-hotel, there are more significant things that need to be done in order to ensure the safety of everyone involved. This includes getting everyone off the rig as soon as possible without necessarily following the Flag Code to the letter.
Florence was downgraded to Category 1, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a potent storm, as the video clearly evinces. For residents of the Carolinas, many of whom have seen a massive storm surge and over 20 inches of rain in some places, the danger isn’t past. The threat from flooding lingers.
This isn’t the first time that a flag has gone viral during a hurricane. Back in 2017, Martin County, Florida, Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Danny Cunningham became a national name after he rescued a wind-battered flag during Hurricane Irma.
“I couldn’t watch it get blown apart,” Cunningham was quoted as saying.
During Hurricane Harvey, Texas police Officer Jack McCarty became a viral sensation for a similar reason.
To those who have felt Hurricane Florence’s wrath, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Hang in there — like the flag at the Frying Pan Tower. (For more from the author of “Eerie Video Shows Hurricane Whip, Beat, Rip American Flag That Refuses to Give Up” please click HERE)