Demolition Preparations Begin At Surfside Condo Building Ahead Of Tropical Storm Elsa
Ten days after the condo building in Surfside, FLA. collapsed, search-and-rescue efforts have been suspended as officials prepare to demo the rest of the building ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa.
According to AP News, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava halted search-and-rescue efforts around 1600 ET Saturday as demolition crews were preparing to demolish the portion of Champlain Towers South still standing.
“Search and rescue does have to pause while the demolition preparation is underway,” Cava said at a news conference. “Preparation includes actions like drilling into columns in the unsafe structure.”
“It has been determined by our engineers and our fire department in constant communication with the demolition team as the process is underway, that we need to put a temporary pause,” she said.
“We will begin the search and rescue once again on any sections of the pile that are safe to access as soon as we are cleared,” she added.
Plans for demolition of the upright portion of Champlain South were accelerated in the last 48 hours as weather models forecast Tropical Storm Elsa could impact South Florida early next week.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, “We have a building here in Surfside that is tottering, it is structurally unsound. If the building is taken down this will protect our search and rescue teams.”
“If the building is taken down, this will protect our search and rescue teams, because we don’t know when it could fall over,” DeSantis said. “And, of course, with these gusts, potentially that would create a really severe hazard.”
Cava also declared a local state of emergency as Elsa moved west-northwest at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The storm’s center is about 85 mph east of Kingston, Jamaica.
There remains a lot of uncertainty about the storm’s trajectory after it tracks across central and western Cuba on Monday, then moves near the west coast of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Local and state officials are taking no chances and are set to demolish the remaining portion of the condo building before the storm hits.
As of Sunday, the death toll sits at 24, according to the mayor. At least 191 people have been accounted for, but 121 remain missing.
Sun, 07/04/2021 – 12:55