The gated estates of Palm Beach are usually pristine, thanks to the landscapers and gardeners hired by the area’s celebrity homeowners.
But in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the roads have been left strewn with broken branches, torn palm fronds and debris from shattered structures, as well as mounds of sand.
And seafront island’s famous inhabitants – who include Dr Oz, Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern, as well as President Donald Trump when he’s visiting his Mar-a-Lago property – are nowhere to be seen.
Even the famous Worth Avenue – usually lined with high-class shops frequented by well-heeled buyers looking to splash some cash – has been left empty, with roads restricted to residents and clean-up crews.
But while most press – even local papers – have struggled to get past security checkpoints, DailyMail.com was able to venture out into the wind-wracked streets to see how some of Florida’s most expensive homes and shops were affected.
Read on to see how Irma has transformed the luxurious island into a vast ghost town.
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No place like home: The Palm Beach home of Mehmet Cengiz – better known as Dr Oz – has been left battered and shredded by Hurricane Irma, with vegetation torn and scattered all around
Down and under: Dr Oz’s home on the barrier island, which lies on the Atlantic Ocean and so is susceptible to hurricanes, has taken a savage beating, but the buildings themselves – seen to the back of the photo – look to still be standing
Struck down: Irma’s winds did not strike the east coast of Florida – where Palm Beach is located – as hard as some expected, but still caused damage on many properties, such as here, at Rush Limbaugh’s gate
Rushed off: This second gate at Limbaugh’s home was left standing. The conservative host claimed that Irma was a conspiracy to sell newspapers and emergency supplies, but evacuated Florida before Irma hit anyway
Ghost town: Iconic upscale shopping and dining area Worth Avenue – usually bustling with upscale shoppers – has been left vacant and boarded up, with piles of debris on the roads or collected in red bags
All gone: Only a few cars were glimpsed in the area, which is completely closed off to the general public – bad news for Chanel and other big brand-name stores on the avenue
Marred: Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago – his club and home in Florida – is clearly still standing in this photo, but the surrounding area has clearly taken a beating
Men at work: The roads around Mar-a-Lago (pictured) and other large estates have been blocked off to all but residents, road crews and emergency services. Here, crews finish up a clean-up job
Good as new? The streets are cleaned here at Mar-a-Lago – save for mounds of dirt and the odd frond on the curbs – but assessors will be needed to see whether the buildings have sustained much damage
Getting the chop: Tree and landscaping companies (seen here outside Mar-a-Lago) have been brought in to hack up felled trees and chop back damaged or listing plants that might be dangerous
Stern warning: Radio host Howard Stern appeared to have heeded the warnings about Irma and left his estate (pictured) before the hurricane hit
Uprooted: Many trees – such as this banyan – were spotted around Palm Beach uprooted, broken or otherwise damaged, their powerful roots no defense against the Category 4 hurricane when it hit
Crew cuts: Creds had to hack up this banyan tree to provide passage for those trying to get around the estates. Banyan trees can grow to vast sizes and have wide-ranging root networks
Torn down: Structural damage can be seen here in Palm Beach. This looks like it may have been some kind of outdoor tent or awning before it was tossed over this hedge, which is several feet tall
Scrapped: These wooden beams have likewise been left sprawled over a lovingly manicured hedge by the roadside. A pile of sand or dirt can also be seen on the far right – the result of a clean-up crew’s hard work
What we saw: These fallen palm trees – which would once have broken up the vast expanse of the sky for drivers – have been sawed into chunks in order to get them off the road
Leaf it alone: Piles of leaves, fronds and smaller branches could be seen by the sides of roads across Palm Beach – including here, on North Lake Way – where they had been chopped up and piled away
Working hard: Work crews and their vehicles – such as this power truck on the street Dr Oz and Howard Stern live on – were the only things moving aside from DailyMail.com’s photographer
Power to the people: Power trucks can be seen here on the street that Dr Oz and Howard Stern live on. In total more than five million people across Florida have been left without power
Sand in your eye: Piles of sand can be seen here – as they were on many roads, after Irma swept it up and deposited it across Palm Beach island
Check it out: Palm Beach Police Department Officer Dorian Pumalo helps secure the perimeter of Palm Beach. There is a police checkpoint is at every entrance to the island, and the Town of Palm Beach has been completely closed off
Safe and secure: Officer Pumaio checks the credentials of a driver at the perimiter of the closed-off area. Only residents and those there to help fix the troubled area are permitted inside
Sign of the times: This animated sign ensured that anyone attempting to approach the island without a proper reason to be there would know they were about to be turned away
Back off: Although residents can enter, it’s too early for anyone who wants their garden back to its pristine self – emergency workers are focusing on cleaning up dangerous debris, and the rest will follow in time
Worth it? This is Worth Avenue, Palm Beach’s famous shopping and dining area. Usually vibrant with life, it’s now more like a ghost town
Closed for business: It’s not yet known when the upscale restaurants and shops along Worth Avenue will reopen – but they’ll likely have more cleaning up to get to when they do
Lights, camera, inaction: This speed camera was downed by Hurricane Irma – not that there are many people to record on Palm Beach at this moment
Desert island: Palm Beach is now all but deserted by the well-heeled folks who usually live and shop there. Doors are shuttered, windows boarded up and nobody will arrive for some time
Still standing: While palm trees were downed across Palm Beach and much of the rest of Florida, these trees appear to have weathered the storm – possibly because the buildings broke up the worst of the wind