SURFSIDE, Fla. – The portion of the building that turned into a compact mountain of pancaked concrete Thursday in Miami-Dade County’s town of Surfside was part of a three-tower development that remained under scrutiny on Tuesday. Some residents decided to evacuate.
More than 150 people remained unaccounted for after the tragedy at Champlain Towers South. For days, Robert Lisman, a resident of Champlain Towers East, has been raising awareness about damaged concrete and rust.
Champlain Towers East was built in 1994. Like the South tower, Champlain Towers North was built in 1981. Residents have asked officials to inspect the safety of their buildings. Residents from the North tower said they are not as afraid because their association has maintained the building.
The condo association boards from both the East and North towers sent memos to residents when panic ensued after the collapse. They informed residents they didn’t have any major structural concerns, and they were bringing in Allyn Kilsheimer, the president of KCE Structural Engineers based out of Washington, D.C. The firm will be tasked with fixing any exposures or cracks.
As the world wondered how this could be possible in Florida, where hurricanes have forced officials to increase structural standards, a troublesome 2018 report surfaced. It shows engineers had reported there was major structural damage at Champlain Towers South.
The deadline for property owners to start paying assessments into $15 million in projects was coming up this year. Officials said the building was in the process of recertification, which is required every 40 years and involves scrutinizing every part of the residential property. Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s going to take time to find out with certainty what exactly caused the tragedy.
An army of rescuers wearing hard hats has been working day and night and they have been facing sporadic rain and spontaneous fires. The delicate operation included highly-trained dogs, drones, robots, and experts from as far as Israel, Mexico, and Argentina.
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