Posts Tagged ‘hurricanes’

Donald Trump took $17M in insurance for Mar-a-Lago damage few remember

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Donald Trump said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 for hurricane damage to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, but The Associated Press found little evidence of such large-scale damage.
Two years after a series of storms, the real estate tycoon said he didn’t know how much had been spent on repairs but acknowledged he pocketed some of the money. Trump transferred funds into his personal accounts, saying that under the terms of his policy, “you didn’t have to reinvest it.”
In a deposition in an unrelated civil lawsuit, Trump said he got the cash from a “very good insurance policy” and cited ongoing work to the historic home.
“Landscaping, roofing, walls, painting, leaks, artwork in the — you know, the great tapestries, tiles, Spanish tiles, the beach, the erosion,” he said of the storm damage. “It’s still not what it was.”
Trump’s description of extensive damage does not match those of Mar-a-Lago members and even Trump loyalists. In an interview about the estate’s history, Trump’s longtime former butler, Anthony Senecal, recalled no catastrophic damage. He said Hurricane Wilma, the last of a string of storms that barreled through in 2004 and 2005, flattened trees behind Mar-a-Lago, but the house itself only lost some roof tiles.
“That house has never been seriously damaged,” said Senecal, discussing Mar-a-Lago’s luck with hurricanes. “I was there for all of them.”
Just over two weeks after Wilma, Trump hosted 370 guests at Mar-a-Lago for the wedding of his son Donald Jr.
While part of that celebration did have to be moved away from the front lawn due to hurricane damage, wedding photographs by Getty Images showed the house, pools, cabanas and landscaping in good repair.
Valuations for Mar-a-Lago are subjective, but Forbes estimated the 110,000-square-foot property’s value at $150 million in its most recent appraisal of Trump’s net

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Donald Trump took $17M in insurance for Mar-a-Lago damage few remember

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Donald Trump said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 for hurricane damage to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, but The Associated Press found little evidence of such large-scale damage.
Two years after a series of storms, the real estate tycoon said he didn’t know how much had been spent on repairs but acknowledged he pocketed some of the money. Trump transferred funds into his personal accounts, saying that under the terms of his policy, “you didn’t have to reinvest it.”
In a deposition in an unrelated civil lawsuit, Trump said he got the cash from a “very good insurance policy” and cited ongoing work to the historic home.
“Landscaping, roofing, walls, painting, leaks, artwork in the — you know, the great tapestries, tiles, Spanish tiles, the beach, the erosion,” he said of the storm damage. “It’s still not what it was.”
Trump’s description of extensive damage does not match those of Mar-a-Lago members and even Trump loyalists. In an interview about the estate’s history, Trump’s longtime former butler, Anthony Senecal, recalled no catastrophic damage. He said Hurricane Wilma, the last of a string of storms that barreled through in 2004 and 2005, flattened trees behind Mar-a-Lago, but the house itself only lost some roof tiles.
“That house has never been seriously damaged,” said Senecal, discussing Mar-a-Lago’s luck with hurricanes. “I was there for all of them.”
Just over two weeks after Wilma, Trump hosted 370 guests at Mar-a-Lago for the wedding of his son Donald Jr.
While part of that celebration did have to be moved away from the front lawn due to hurricane damage, wedding photographs by Getty Images showed the house, pools, cabanas and landscaping in good repair.
Valuations for Mar-a-Lago are subjective, but Forbes estimated the 110,000-square-foot property’s value at $150 million in its most recent appraisal of Trump’s net

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Hundreds of thousands flee Florida coast to escape Matthew’s fury

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of anxious people boarded up their homes and businesses and grabbed a few belongings to flee inland as Hurricane Matthew gained strength and roared toward the Southeast seaboard on Thursday.
In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said the state, its skies already darkening from early outer rain bands of the life-threatening storm, could be facing its “biggest evacuation ever” as Matthew menaces almost all the state’s Atlantic coast.
As people hurried for higher ground, authorities in South Carolina said a motorist died on Wednesday after being shot by deputies during an altercation along an evacuation route.
Scott said Florida, its skies already darkening from early outer rain bands of the life-threatening storm, could be facing its “biggest evacuation ever” as Matthew menaces almost all the state’s Atlantic coast.
About 2 million people from Florida across Georgia to South Carolina were being encouraged to head inland and away from the most powerful storm to threaten the Atlantic coast in more than a decade. Matthew killed at least 16 people in the Caribbean as it sliced through Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas.
“This is a dangerous storm,” Scott warned. “The storm has already killed people. We should expect the same impact in Florida.”
Hurricane Matthew is barreling over the Bahamas and taking aim at Florida, expected to near the Atlantic coast starting Thursday night. The Category 3 storm has top sustained winds of 125 mph. Florida hasn’t been hit by a storm this powerful in more than a decade.
Florida emergency officials said 48 shelters in schools already have begun providing refuge to more than 3,000 people, some with special needs, mostly in coastal counties where evacuations both mandatory and voluntary were underway. Patients also were transferred from two Florida waterfront hospitals and a nursing home near Daytona Beach to safer locations.
Major theme parks in Orlando, central

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Obama briefed on federal hurricane preparations, S.C. town closes in preparation

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

President Barack Obama is being briefed on the federal government’s preparation for Hurricane Matthew as the Category 3 storm makes its way to the U.S. mainland.
The president says now is the time to “hope for the best but we want to prepare for the worst.”
Obama is at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters. FEMA has deployed personnel to emergency operation centers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. It’s also positioning commodities and other supplies at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and in Albany, Georgia.
Government officials are worried about complacency, especially in South Florida, which hasn’t seen a major hurricane in 11 years. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Matthew will remain a powerful storm at least through Thursday night.
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Meanwhile, the beach town of Folly Beach on the South Carolina coast southwest of Charleston is closed to everyone except residents and essential personnel.
Police at a checkpoint at the bridge leading onto the island are turning back visitors and sightseers. But several pickup trucks could be seen carrying plywood onto the island. Several businesses in town and on the road leading from the mainland are boarded up.
The barrier island is subject to erosion and its beaches and a county park at Folly have been heavily damaged in storms in years past.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press
The post Obama briefed on federal hurricane preparations, S.C. town closes in preparation appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Evacuations underway in 2 Florida counties

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Brevard County, and voluntary evacuations have been activated in St. Lucie County, but Gov. Rick Scott urged other coastal residents potentially in harm’s way not to wait to be told to leave.
The governor said during a Wednesday morning news conference that “if you’re able to go early, leave now.” The mandatory evacuations were scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
The slow-moving storm was expected to drench the coast from the Keys through central Florida, storm surge up to 5 feet deep was expected along the Atlantic coast, and the hurricane could produce tornadoes. Even if Matthew doesn’t come ashore, its tropical storm-force winds could reach the state.
In his 5 a.m. analysis of the forecast models for Matthew’s track along the Atlantic coast, senior hurricane specialist Daniel Brown wrote, “Only a slight deviation to the west of forecast track could result in landfall in Florida.”
“We must prepare to be hit by a devastating hurricane,” Scott said.
“This is a dangerous storm and it’s never too early to evacuate,” Scott said. “If you live in a low-lying area or on a barrier island, go ahead and leave.”
Republished with permission of the associated Press.
The post Evacuations underway in 2 Florida counties appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Hurricane warning extended for Florida’s coast

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

The National Hurricane Center has extended the hurricane warning northward in Florida as Matthew heads toward the East Coast.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew is heading toward the Bahamas after hitting Cuba hard.
The hurricane center says the hurricane was about 105 miles (165 kilometers) south of Long Island, Bahamas. It has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph).
The hurricane center said there is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along Florida’s east coast from North Palm Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line. There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Nicole is moving west-northwestward over the western Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph). It poses no threat to land.
The U.S. government says its disaster assessment teams are working to evaluate the effects of Hurricane Matthew a day after the storm blew across a portion of southwestern Haiti with winds of 145 mph (233 kph).
USAID official R. David Harden told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that it had pre-positioned emergency food and other aid in advance of the storm. The assistant administrator for the bureau for democracy, conflict, and humanitarian assistance said the area was “hit pretty hard” but the agency has not yet completed an assessment.
Harden said the U.S. is offering $1 million in food assistance and $500,000 in non-foot items such as blankets, shelters and hygiene kits.
Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Kenneth Merten said on the call that it is up to Haiti whether it will go ahead with planned national elections on Sunday. He said the U.S. interest is only that they have fair and credible elections and that they be held either on Sunday or the “not too distant future.”
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