Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Gets Ready for Irma

Hurricane Irma Forces Largest Miami Evacuation

The White House may be open for business in Washington, where Hurricane aid dominated the agenda for President Donald Trump and lawmakers. 

A thousand miles to the south in Palm Beach, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, the Florida resort he once dubbed "The Winter White House," readied Friday for Hurricane Irma. Workers attached wooden storm shutters to the windows of the main club building and blocked the front gate with traffic cones.

The beach near Mar-a-Lago sits empty Friday, save for a kite surfer.

Photographer: Terrence Dopp

As winds began picking up, the sprawling beach near the resort was mostly empty, save for a couple kite surfers. One thing they weren’t scrimping on: security. A reporter shooting photos of the front gate was immediately shooed away by a red-shirted guard on a golf cart.

The surrounding Town of Palm Beach, a sliver of a barrier island known as the playground of the super-rich, is under a mandatory evacuation. On the mainland, 264,000 of Palm Beach County’s 1.4 million residents are facing mandatory evacuations. 

In nearby West Palm Beach, an ordered calm was on display as the sound of power drills screwing plywood across windows permeated the air. Streets were mostly empty. Hairdressers were still serving customers at one beauty shop even as workers placed sandbags in front of neighboring businesses. 

At the Publix supermarket, customers made grim jokes as they prepared for Irma. One harried woman in the kitchen storage section of the store said: “I’m going to need a lot more Ziplocs."

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