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Surfside building collapse has ripple effect on condo residents

Surfside building collapse has ripple effect on condo residents
Surfside building collapse has ripple effect on condo residents

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – The tragedy in Miami-Dade County’s town of Surfside had a ripple effect on residents of condominium buildings in south Florida — some of whom had concerns that actually turned out to be unfounded.

Officials report they are getting flooded with complaints about alleged structural issues, cracks, water dripping, and difficulties with condo associations.

Nelly Tedone felt the fear in Key Biscayne, a barrier island municipality across the Rickenbacker Causeway from the city of Miami’s Brickell neighborhood.

Tedone is a resident of the Towers of Key Biscayne, a two-building condominium complex at the south end of the island and next to the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

One of the towers was built in 1971 and the other a year later. A video on TikTok showed cracks on the ceiling of a parking garage. Some residents there panicked.

“I live on the first floor,” Tedone said. “The building is old.”

A structural engineer responded quickly. The village manager and the fire chief also showed up to investigate. Key Biscayne Mayor Michael W. Davey was out of town.

The engineer determined the building is safe.

What appeared to be a crack, was not a flaw. It was part of the original design of the building. The inspection revealed it was an expansion joint designed to hold different parts of the building together.

Something similar happened at Hamilton on the Bay in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood. The parking garage has temporary support beams.

Residents said there were cracks in the concrete in the garage and exposed rebar in the outside of the building. A spokesperson for the building’s association said an engineer deemed the building was safe and the repairs to the 37-year-old building were ongoing.

Joann Hussey, a spokeswoman for Broward County’s city of Hollywood said officials there are dealing with a tsunami of complaints.

At the Sea Air Towers, a 362-unit condominium complex in Hollywood Beach, residents worried about exposed rebar and issues with the parking garage as well.

“We are hearing from residents. We are creating a task force,” Hussey said. “This is an all-hands-on-deck approach ... Our staff will handle the volume of requests that are coming on to ensure compliance.”

To deal with the concerns, Hussey said employees from other departments are helping Code Enforcement.

The complaints triggered the Fire Department and Building inspector to pay attention, and a case can end up before a special magistrate. Broward County has an unsafe structures board.

Related memo

Letter on Key Biscayne scare (Key Biscayne)

Complete coverage: Surfside Building Collapse

Coverage on Thursday

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visit memorial wall covered in flowers and photos of the missing after the Florida condo collapse Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 30

Search and rescue personnel work atop the rubble at the Champlain Towers South condo building, where scores of people remain missing almost a week after it partially collapsed, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Coverage on June 29

Search and rescue workers comb the rubble of an oceanfront condo building that collapsed, with many dead and unaccounted for, in Surfside, Fla., Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 28

Workers search the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Monday, June 28, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday's fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Coverage on June 27

This aerial image shows an oceanfront condo building that partially collapsed three days earlier, resulting in fatalities and many people still unaccounted for, in Surfside, Fla., Sunday, June 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 26

Workers search in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Saturday, June 26, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. One hundred fifty-nine people were still unaccounted for two days after Thursday's collapse, which killed at least four. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 25

FILE - In this June 25, 2021, file photo, rescue personnel work at the remains of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Fla. Harry Rosenberg, a New York City man, bought a beachfront home there to start a new chapter of his life after his wife and parents died. Now he is missing in the collapse of the building outside Miami. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 24

This photo taken from video provided by ReliableNewsMedia, firefighters rescue a survivor from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo after the multistory building partially collapsed in Surfside, Fla., early Thursday, June 24, 2021. (ReliableNewsMedia via AP)

About the Authors:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.