A ferocious Hurricane Irma barreled early Wednesday morning across the Caribbean island of St. Martin, where President Trump owns a lavish waterfront estate, wrecking buildings, overturning cars and uprooting trees with punishing winds.
“It’s an enormous catastrophe. Ninety-five percent of the island is destroyed,” Daniel Gibbs, the president of the territorial council, said in a radio interview, according to AFP. “I’m in shock. It’s frightening.”
Among the structures badly damaged were a group of government buildings on the island. “We know that the four most solid buildings on the island have been destroyed, which means that more rustic structures have probably been completely or partially destroyed,” French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told AFP.
Amanda Miller, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, said that company officials are monitoring the situation in St. Martin very closely.
“All of the proper precautions and protections have been implemented and right now we are just praying for all those in the path of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and beyond,” Miller said in a statement.
Photos and videos from St. Martin posted on social media show flattened buildings, cars tumbled on their sides and water crashing into hotel balconies.
#SaintMartin subit les effets de l' #OuraganIRMA pic.twitter.com/aIC3cFOx5i— RCI Guadeloupe (@RCI_GP) September 6, 2017
Trump’s Chateau des Palmiers estate — whose name translates to “Castle of the Palms” — covers nearly five acres and comes with a pool at the beach’s edge, a tennis court and fitness center. The trust that oversees his holdings recently slashed the asking price from $28 million to $16.9 million.
Trump and his family visited the property frequently after purchasing it in 2013. But in recent years, the estate has largely served as a rental, generating between $100,000 and $1 million between January 2016 and April 15 of this year, according to the president’s financial disclosure.
After barreling across the Caribbean, Hurricane Irma is headed for South Florida, potentially threatening Trump’s signature Mar-A-Lago club and three golf courses he owns in Doral, West Palm Beach and Jupiter. Forecasters said it is too soon to know whether they will be in the direct path of the hurricane, but all are likely to face tropical storm conditions, at minimum.
“The safety and security of our guests, members and colleagues is our top priority and we are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma,” Miller said. “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 National Doral, which recently completed a three-year, $250 million renovation, tweeted Wednesday that the resort was still open for business, for now.
While we're monitoring Hurricane Irma, all resort operations are as normal until further notice. Guests w/questions should call 305.592.2000 pic.twitter.com/wvZ6cTw7bq— Trump National Doral Miami (@TrumpDoral) September 6, 2017
Jason Samenow contributed to this report.