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'The price to live in paradise is a hurricane:' Palm Beach residents ordered to evacuate

'The price to live in paradise is a hurricane:' Palm Beach residents ordered to evacuate. (WPEC)

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for the Town of Palm Beach. The message there is simple, get out.

The famed Worth Avenue is a ghost town. No shoppers anywhere, just crews working to board up businesses ahead of Irma’s impact.

“The price to pay to be in paradise is to have a hurricane, what can we do, except pray,” Stephane Sportouch said.

Sportouch’s fine clothing shop along the iconic avenue is one of just a few businesses CBS12 found open Thursday.

“I’m staying on the island because I have nowhere to go,” Sportouch said.

The island resident says he plans on weathering the storm in his home. But town officials strongly discourage that, ordering a mandatory evacuation of the island by 5 p.m. Friday.

The concern of course is the wind and the storm surge that could knock out roads and leave parts of the island isolated and flooded.

Despite the warning, Stephane has a plan of his own.

“I close the shutters. I have some whiskey and Champaign, and we try to be safe,” he said.

Town official estimate about 4,000-5,000 people are on the island. They say no one will be forcibly removed, but if you need help in the storm, that help might not come.

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