A tropical storm was formally designated Hurricane Nicole on Wednesday evening as it bore down on Florida’s east coast, prompting mandatory evacuation orders in areas including Donald Trump’s Florida estate. The former president had no immediate plans to leave Mar-a-Lago, however, an adviser told The Washington Post, adding that the club had been closed. It was unclear whether the closure included an evacuation of personnel, with the Associated Press reporting “no sign of evacuation” by early afternoon. The club’s security office also hung up on an AP reporter who called to inquire if the resort was being evacuated. (There is no penalty for ignoring an evacuation order.) Mar-a-Lago lies about a quarter-mile inland from the shoreline, with its main buildings constructed about 15 feet above sea level. Weather officials warned that Nicole’s storm surge is expected to peak at up to 5 feet above ground level, and “will be accompanied by large and damaging waves.” Inland flooding and power outages are also possible.
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