The Trump Organization has multiple properties in South Florida
Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida this weekend
Forecasts show Hurricane Irma could turn toward Florida later this week, and as South Floridians brace for a potentially devastating storm, it’s possible that multiple Trump Organization properties could be in its path.
In addition to President Donald Trump’s “Winter White House” at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, the Trump Organization has multiple properties near or on the South Florida coastline: Trump Grande, Trump International Beach Resort, and Trump Towers in Sunny Isles, Trump Hollywood in Hollywood Beach, Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach, plus Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter and Trump National Doral in Doral.
“We are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma,” a spokesperson for the Trump Organization told CNN in a statement Wednesday. “Our teams at the Trump properties in Florida are taking all of the proper precautions and following local and Florida State Advisories very closely to ensure that everyone is kept safe and secure. We continue to send our thoughts and prayers to victims of Hurricane Harvey and are praying for those that are in the path of Hurricane Irma.”
Trump acknowledged the storm in a meeting with congressional leadership in the Oval Office Wednesday.
“There is a new and seems to be record-breaking hurricane heading right toward Florida and Puerto Rico and other places. We’ll see what happens. We’ll know in a very short period of time, but it looks like it would be something that would be not good, believe me, not good,” he said.
Secret Service spokesman Joseph Casey said the Secret Service “continues to monitor the severe weather that is currently forecasted to impact the US.”
He added: “As a matter of practice the Secret Service does not discuss our security protocols.”
Preparations for Hurricane Irma are well underway in Palm Beach County, where the Mar-a-Lago club is located. The county declared a state of emergency effective at 12 a.m. Wednesday. The county’s office of public affairs urged residents to have enough food and water to last five to seven days and to “put up shutters if you have them.”
It’s still unclear whether mandatory evacuations will take place in the area: “Due to the uncertainty in the direction in which the storm will approach, the decision to evacuate the coastal areas will be made sometime over the next two days after consultations between emergency managers and the National Hurricane Center,” the Palm Beach County office of public affairs said in a statement Tuesday.
Per the Palm Beach Daily News, Mar-a-Lago has three-foot thick walls. The property has withstood many devastating hurricanes since its 1927 completion.
“This place will not move,” former Trump butler Tony Senecal told the Palm Beach Post in 2005. “That’s why, during a hurricane, you’ll always see me here. If it goes, I’ll go with it.”
One local reporter drove by the property Wednesday morning, and told CNN she did not see any signs of exterior storm preparations underway from outside the club at this time. Reached by phone Wednesday, security at Mar-a-Lago would not comment on storm preparations.
“This is a massive storm,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott told CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning, urging Floridians to get prepared for Hurricane Irma. “I want everybody to take this seriously.”
On Tuesday, the local Palm Beach Publix grocery store ran out of water as residents stocked up on storm supplies.
Local reporter Elliott Wenzler tweeted that the Palm Beach Police Station was filled with island employees attempting to get ID cards that allow them to enter the island after a hurricane.
Palm Beach director of public utilities Poonam Kalkat told the Palm Beach Post that crews are getting sand bags ready.
“Watching Hurricane closely. My team, which has done, and is doing, such a good job in Texas, is already in Florida. No rest for the weary!” the President tweeted early Wednesday.
CNN’s Jason Hanna contributed to this report.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Mar-a-Lago was completed in 1927.