As storms ravished the North Carolina coast last night, an old Southport landmark twisted in the gale force winds and collapsed.  Welcoming visitors for over 100 years on the Fort Johnston Garrison lawn, the 1901 US Bureau Coastal Warning Display Tower, fondly known by locals as “The Weather Tower” will be missed by many.

Mayor Hatem was on location early in the morning, “An iconic Southport historic relic that has been part of our lives for as long as we can remember, was severely damaged last night during the storm.  It is important to our citizens and to our city that the weather tower of Mrs. Jessie Taylor be preserved.  I have asked the City Manager, Mr. Bruce Oakley, to contact a structural engineer to give us our options.”

Early this morning Police Chief Todd Coring protected the site, “Officers secured and folded the flag, then shut power off to the structure.”  He requested visitors to “please avoid the area as assessments and removal efforts begin.”

“This is an important restoration project for the City, and we must salvage our heritage. There will need to be private funds involved and this process is already underway. For now, anyone who would like to donate may deliver a check to City Hall marked for “Weather Tower Restoration Fund,” stated Mayor Hatem.