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Want an up-close look at Hurricane Florence?

Watch the video below to see live footage from an old Coast Guard light tower, 32 miles off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. If current storm projections are correct, that won’t be far from where Florence makes landfall.




One camera, mounted on the tower’s helipad about 100 feet above the water, should capture long views, along with the hurricane-force winds whipping the American flag.

Richard Neal, a software sales engineer from south Charlotte, is now the principal owner of the Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower. Neal bought the tower at government auction for $85,000 in 2010.

Since then, he has operated it as a bed and breakfast. The 6,400-square-foot steel box has eight bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a recreation room and a workshop. They all sit on thin steel legs, 70-feet above the water.

The bed \-and-breakfast business is on hold for now as Neal markets shares to people who would like to become part owners of the tower.

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Neal keeps an array of solar-powered video cameras there to capture the views.
Neal plans to ride out Florence from his home in south Charlotte.

“I wish I was out there (on the tower), doggone it,” he said. “But I’ve got to work.”

During hurricanes Arthur, Matthew and Sandy, Neal was on the tower.

“The best way to describe it is the sky turns an amazing shade of yellow or beautiful aqua green,” Neal said. “And the ocean turns from waves to these very large hills of water.”







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