What is Surfside going to do about the north tower?


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Hours after The Champlain Towers South building partially collapses early Thursday leaving at least nine dead and more than 150 missing, a lot of people had a question: what about the north tower of the condo?

It is at 8877 Collins Avenue in Surfside, just a little north of the South Tower, but does not appear to have sustained any damage.

Again, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett on Sunday said residents had asked about the building’s safety, so he asked for help.

If people wanted to evacuate the north tower, resources would be available to them, he said. He did not specify what resources.

Burkett called the north building “essentially the identical building in almost every way to the one that collapsed.” Built by the same contractor, around the same time, with the same central plans and probably with the same materials ”.

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He said given the concern of the residents of the North Tower and that “given that this other had suddenly collapsed”, he asked Sen. Rick Scott and Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava if they thought it was a good idea to move. and provide support to residents. He said they agreed. Burkett also said he got the support of Governor Ron DeSantis.

Burkett then called the North Tower Co-Ownership Association and said if residents felt uncomfortable staying there “given the circumstances, we have alternatives for them.

“I’m not sure everyone benefits from it,” he said.

A view of the Champlain North Towers appear from Collins Avenue in the community of Surfside, Fla. On June 26, 2021.

The move came after Burkett ordered an inspection of the north building on Saturday and planned to relocate residents until this “deep dive” was completed.

“I know the same building collapsed for some inexplicable reason,” Burkett said at the time on Saturday. “The buildings in the United States are not just falling.… Something very, very wrong was going on in this building and we need to find out.”

USA TODAY Network reporters on Sunday called more than 50 phone lines associated with residents of the North Tower and received an assortment of voicemail messages and disconnections.

People kiss outside the Surfside Community Center while awaiting news on June 25, 2021 in Surfside, Florida.  The 12-story Champlain Towers South building partially collapsed Thursday in Surfside, Florida.  (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)

A person contacted said it felt good to be there. He then said he no longer wanted to give his name or develop.

Burkett made the evacuations voluntary on Saturday and said some of the residents had been evacuated to other buildings near their apartment building “out of excess of caution.”

Surfside held an emergency council meeting on Thursday afternoon when Burkett first raised the possibility of a mandatory evacuation with authorities.

North Tower: People were asking “Listen, is my building safe?” “

At the time, he said: “People came to me and said, ‘Look, is my building safe? “”

He noted that the relocation of these residents can be “inconvenient”.

Also during the meeting, the city commission said it was considering measures to ensure the safety of high-rise buildings in the city.

“Major structural damage”:Miami area collapsed condo inspection reports detail “major structural damage” to garage

Before and after:A look at Champlain Towers South, the partially collapsed Florida building

More coverage:Surfside building manager was on the roof 14 hours before the condo collapsed

Like the South Tower, the North Tower was built in 1981, before the destructive force of Hurricane Andrew caused changes to state building codes.

“But given that we have no idea what caused this collapse – and listen, the chances of it happening again are like lightning – but I don’t know if there is anyone in this room who would be ready to roll the dice with all these lives and say, let’s not worry about it for a while, ”he said on Thursday.

USA TODAY Network reporters Chris Persaud and Andre Fernandez contributed to this report.

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