Miami Building Evacuated over Safety Concerns

After an assessment discovered hazardous conditions around five miles from the scene of the catastrophic collapse in South Florida, the evacuation of a condo building has been ordered by the city.

The 156-unit Crestview Towers were considered physically and electronically unstable in January, according to a city press release; this comes following the destruction of Champlain Towers South in neighboring Surfside. Officials could not instantly provide details about infrastructure problems that forced the evacuation; although the structure had been damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017, causing significant financial losses.

During an act of extreme precaution, City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III ordered the building to be shuttered immediately; now, the residents must be evacuated for their safety while a comprehensive structural evaluation is conducted and further steps are planned, according to the press release.

This is the first structure to be vacated since the South Florida collapse; state authorities started inspecting older high-rises in the aftermath of the Surfside disaster to ensure that significant structural flaws were not overlooked.

The Crestview condo organization can not be contacted for comment on either the backlog between the renewal report in January or the relocation on Friday.

A First-Hand Account

According to media, Harold Dauphin spotted a helicopter hovering over his building and an increased police presence on the way back home, after picking up his son from a camp on Friday. He thought had there been a murder close, but when he returned home, he discovered his apartment was already being evacuated.

The father and son share a room on the tower’s second story. He stated that he had not learned much about the issues that had surfaced. They left with everything he could, including his work outfit and several technological devices.

Commissioner Fortuna Smukler was the first to arrive at the structure on Friday evening. Officials, she added, were trying to find new homes for the evacuees. She explained that the inhabitants were particularly stressed because of the incoming storm.

As Always, There is Politics

Following the building collapse, last week which killed an estimated 22 times and displaced upwards of 120 people unaccounted for, the mayor of Miami-Dade City urged an examination of structures 40 and older; this happened to ensure they are in compliance with the local certification procedure.

The city’s Planning and Development Office determined that the Crestview building was not in conformity after analyzing the paperwork. The building manager filed a January certification report on Friday, stating that the facility was unsafe, according to an expert appointed by the condo association management. The city subsequently issued an order for all residents to leave right now.

The building association has suffered millions of dollars in losses after Hurricane Irma severely damaged buildings in the city several years back. The group has since sued its insurer for not covering the claim.