Hurricane Florence Wright Bros. Memorial Closed ... Ditto for Famous Inn Where Gere & Lane Banged

9/11/2018 9:12 AM PDT

Hurricane Florence Forces Wright Bros. Memorial & Inn to Close

EXCLUSIVE

Hurricane Florence has the Wright Brothers on the run -- or at least the memorial dedicated to them -- and Richard Gere's favorite beachside inn is also bracing for the worst.

The Wright Bros. National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC will be shut down to the public this week as Florence -- currently a category 4 storm -- barrels toward the Carolinas and Virginia. The memorial sits on the Outer Banks, and is directly in the hurricane's path ... so on Monday they shut down all operations to, as they say, batten down the hatches.

Florence's timing really sucks -- the memorial was supposed to get a replica Monday of the 1st plane Orville and Wilbur flew. That delivery was postponed for fear it would be damaged when the storm hits.  

Nicholas Sparks fans will recognize the Outer Banks Inn from 2008's "Nights in Rodanthe." Yes, the place where Gere and Diane Lane banged a lot. The owners, Ben and Debbie Huss, are boarding up and getting outta Dodge -- but tell us they expect their famous house to mostly hold up to Florence.

That's a tall order with winds expected to reach up to 156 mph.

One last batch of famous sites that'll be hit hard by Florence ... several Southport locations used to film scenes of "Dawson's Creek," "Safe Haven" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer."