MIRAMAR, Fla. – If you think there are no earthquakes in South Florida, spend some time in Miramar where residents are rocked constantly by blasting.
The blasts come from a rock quarry in nearby Miami-Dade County that blasts into the earth to break up and excavate limestone. Miramar is just north of one of the White Rock Quarries.
Inside Jessica Munoz’s kitchen it’s quiet. She’s just cleaned up from lunch. And then, out of the blue, there is a blast.
While the blasting is nothing new, residents we talked to say the blasts are getting even more intense.
And the reality is, there is little to nothing they can do.
We asked Munoz, “How did that blast compare to others?”
“That one was probably ten times worse than the ones we normally get,” she said.
“You feel it under your feet,” Munoz said. “I was just in shock and then I did a walk around my house,” she said.
Residents we talked to show us cracks and say they must make repairs over and over.
Kan Mongwa feels that cracking is caused by the blasting, but he has no proof.
“What we are seeing you repaired four years ago?,” we asked Mongwa.
“Yes, sir,” he says.
“And it’s back?”
“It’s back? Yes.”
Habib Mohammed says he’s become accustomed to the damage.
“We are living with it and that should not be,” he said.
The city of Miramar has an entire section on its website dedicated to blasting including how to file a complaint with State Fire Marshal’s Office who monitors and investigates complaints.
Results of the monitoring are also on the website.
(See the reports of the monitoring here: Blasting Monitoring Reports/Miramar)
Those who have been through the process say it never goes in their favor. Inspectors tell them that the cracks are from the homes settling.
Munoz says she’s filed a complaint with the State Fire Marshal, that she’s contacted the quarry directly and has even spoken to the quarry’s insurance company.
She tells us that they have all said everything is “within normal blasting limits.”
We asked Jessica, “If you knew then, what you know now, would you have bought here?”
“No, no. Absolutely not,” Jessica says.
Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam says blasting regulations need to be changed especially near residential areas. But a proposed bill in the state legislature last year never made it out of committee.
We learned it is also says difficult to take on the mining industry.
A resident would need to hire a structural engineer and an attorney to prove the blasting caused the cracks and damage. If a homeowner would lose, they’d have to pay their own expenses and fees and also pay those of the mining company.