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Hurricane Floodwaters Are Headed For Trump's Mar-A-Lago

With evacuation ordered for Miami's coastal zones, Trump properties are facing a storm surge threat.

Originally posted on
Updated on
Peter Aldhous for BuzzFeed News / Via floridadisaster.org

Evacuations are staged by zone, starting with Zone A and coastal barrier islands, where many Trump properties stand.

Several of Donald Trump's properties, including the "winter White House" Mar-a-Lago, are in the evacuation zones ordered ahead of Hurricane Irma, now expected to make landfall in the mainland US on Sunday morning.

Hurricane Irma is forecast to hit southern Florida as a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds, promising an extreme, "life-threatening" storm surge threat to the entire southern tip of Florida, according to the National Weather Service.

"Evacuees should move as soon as possible to the homes of friends or family who live outside of evacuation areas," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in the mandatory order for homes closest to the coast in the county of 2.7 million people. Nearby Brevard County and Palm Beach followed suit on Thursday morning.

Evacuations are staged by flood "zone," starting with Zone A and coastal barrier islands, where many Trump properties stand. Among the places now under the order are at least four Trump properties: Trump Grande, Trump Towers, Trump Hollywood, and Mar-a-Lago.

Peter Aldhous for BuzzFeed News / Via floridadisaster.org

Trump International Beach Resort indicated on its website that it has closed due to the storm, while the residences are on a barrier island subject to the evacuation order. The front desk at Mar-a-Lago did not answer the phone on Thursday afternoon.

The Trump National Doral resort in Miami, however, is "fine, we're still open, and normal," according to its front desk.

"Our teams at our properties in Florida are taking the proper precautions and following local and Florida State Advisories very closely to help ensure that everyone is kept safe and secure," a spokesperson for the Trump Organization, Hwee Peng Yeo, told BuzzFeed News. Since the Trump National Doral Miami resort will likely be impacted by the storm, she added "we strongly urge those guests and members currently holding reservations at the hotel to make alternative lodging arrangements outside of the storm’s reach." Cancellation and similar fees will be waived.

Mar-a-Lago, built in the 1920s, has a long history of withstanding hurricanes. Trump reportedly collected $17 million in damages from a 2005 hurricane there and complained of water damage to a basement. The stucco-covered club is reportedly anchored by steel beams to the coral foundation of Palm Beach island, enabling it to withstand storms repeatedly.

“That house has never been seriously damaged,” Trump's former butler told the Associated Press last year, describing the estate’s past luck with hurricanes. "I was there for all of them.”


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Dan Vergano is a science reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Dan Vergano at dan.vergano@buzzfeed.com.

Peter Aldhous is a Science Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. His secure PGP fingerprint is 225F B2AF 4B8E 6E3D B1EA 7F9A B96E BF7D 9CB2 9B16

Contact Peter Aldhous at peter.aldhous@buzzfeed.com.

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