Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in hurricane's path

Mar-a-Lago is on the wealthy island of Palm Beach.
Mar-a-Lago is on the wealthy island of Palm Beach.PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

PALM BEACH • US President Donald Trump's prized Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida could be directly in the path of Hurricane Dorian, which is forecast to become an extremely destructive storm.

The National Hurricane Centre's most recent track for Dorian places Mar-a-Lago in the crosshairs of a possible Category 4 storm with winds of almost 225kmh.

The resort, which is closed for the summer, is on the wealthy barrier island of Palm Beach. No activity could be seen there on Friday.

During the cooler months, Mr Trump often visits the property. He has held several high-level meetings there with leaders such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China's President Xi Jinping.

Hurricanes have always been a part of Mar-a-Lago. In 2005, Mr Trump said he received a US$17 million insurance payment for hurricane damage to the resort, but an Associated Press probe found little evidence of such large-scale damage. At the time, Mr Trump said he did not know how much had been spent on repairs, but acknowledged he pocketed some of the money. He transferred funds into his personal accounts, saying that under the terms of his policy "you didn't have to re-invest it".

Mr Trump is a climate change sceptic whose policies have infuriated many environmentalists.

Meanwhile, local governments across Florida, including in Palm Beach County, are gearing up to deal with rising sea levels and possibly more intense hurricanes.

If sea-level rise predictions even at the lower end come to pass, Mar-a-Lago could have ocean water lapping on its lawns in the not-too-distant future.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 01, 2019, with the headline 'Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in hurricane's path'. Print Edition | Subscribe