Republican presidential nominee’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, was closed Thursday as urricane Hurricane Matthew aimed its fury at the U.S. Southeast.
At 5 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center said Matthew, packing 140 mph winds, was 100 miles east-southeast of West Palm Beach and barreling northwest at 13 mph. The category 4 storm has left a wide swath of destruction across Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republican and Bahamas, killing at least 113 people, 108 of them in Haiti.
The Hollywood Reporter said it was unclear when the property, which is constructed of concrete, steel and three-foot-thick walls, would reopen. The estate has weathered severe hurricanes before. It was built in the 1920s by Marjorie Merriweather Post and purchased in 1985 for $10 million by Trump. It has 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, three bomb shelters and a private social club.
Some 2 million Americans are in the path of Matthew, the first major storm to strike Florida in a decade, and mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coastal areas.
In Palm Beach, Florida, residents have cleared grocery store shelves. Mayor Jeri Muoir said she’s very concerned “more people are staying than leaving.”
Daniel Myara told CNN he’s lived in the Daytona area for 25 years and has no plans to go anywhere. In fact, there’s a sign outside his Cruisin Café reading: “Honk for hurricane party inside.”
Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters told USA Today the storm could hit Florida and the Bahamas twice. Masters said weather forecasting models show the storm looping back.
The situation could be exacerbated by newly formed Hurricane Nicole, which currently is about 330 miles south of Bermuda.
Florida authorities are urging residents to “get out.”
"We're not immune. ... That is our message and that is our hope. Worry about your possessions later. Take care of your life now. You only have one life," Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry told CNN.
"This is serious. ... If you need to evacuate and you haven't, evacuate,” Gov. Rick Scott urged. “This storm will kill you. Time is running out. We don't have that much time left."
Matthew’s outer bands began hitting the Miami area by mid-morning Thursday. The Miami Herald reported thousands of Florida Power & Light Customers already were without service and as many as 2.5 million customers could lose power.
President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration Wednesday, making federal aid available.