PALM BEACH, Fla. - As Hurricane Dorian barrels toward Florida, President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club is in the dangerous storm’s projected path.
As of Thursday, the National Hurricane Center had practically all of eastern Florida in a cone of uncertainty, meaning the entire region was at risk. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, lies within that cone of uncertainty.
Previous hurricane models suggest Dorian could pass right through Trump’s prized South Florida seaside resort, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A high pressure system is building over Bermuda, acting as a wall and blocking storms from curving north, which is a natural pathway. It is essentially pushing Dorian westward, more toward densely populated southern Florida, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.
Meanwhile, a low pressure system in the Midwest is chugging eastward. When it clashes with the Bermuda high, there's a chance it will nibble away at the western edges, allowing a weakening in that wall and pulling Dorian to the northwest toward Cape Canaveral or Jacksonville, with a small chance of the storm heading north of Florida, said Weather Underground Meteorology Director Jeff Masters, who used to fly into hurricanes for forecasts.
Stacy Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, sees the high pressure system winning, with an assist from Dorian itself. That means following a track that points generally toward Palm Beach County and Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.
The U.S. Secret Service declined to respond to the Tampa Bay Times’ questions about security measures the resort would take. The Trump Organization and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the paper.
Reached by phone, a representative for Mar-a-Lago said the resort is still determining whether to evacuate employees, as there are currently no guests during the off-season.
During Hurricane Irma in September 2017, Mar-a-Lago, along with the rest of Palm Beach island, was ordered to evacuate, the Washington Post reported.
Trump previously claimed his private club sustained $17 million in damage during the 2005 hurricane season, but an Associated Press investigation found little evidence the resort actually took a hit.
Mar-a-Lago was built in 1927, and Trump purchased it in 1985, the report said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.