As Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean over the past two days, the destruction it left in its wake on several small — and relatively poor — islands was nearly total. The storm’s path took it directly over the island of St. Martin, where President Trump owns a five-acre estate known as Château des Palmiers.
Trump had listed the property for sale back in May at an undisclosed price. When he bought the estate in 2013, the listing price was $19.7 million, but the actual price he paid has not been disclosed. The listing price in May was $28 million, but the Washington Post reported in August that Trump had dropped the price for the estate to $16.9 million.
British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, who owns an estate on nearby Necker Island, took shelter in the concrete wine cellar of his home, which was also reportedly completely destroyed by the storm.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort north of Miami was ordered evacuated Friday morning, along with other properties on the barrier islands and low-lying parts of Palm Beach County, in preparation for the storm’s expected Saturday landfall in Florida.
The island of Barbuda was the first to get pounded by Irma and has reportedly been rendered “practically uninhabitable” according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne. Amazingly, only one death — a toddler — was reported from among the island’s 1,700 people.
As of Thursday, Irma has been charged with a total of dozen deaths, including four on St. Martin, three in Puerto Rico and one in the British territory of Anguilla.