Residents Evacuated From Miami Skyscraper Near Surfside Condo Collapse

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Residents of a Miami Beach condominium building located about a mile and a half down the road from the site of the fatal 2021 condo collapse in Surfside, Fla., were ordered to evacuate Thursday night after the building’s structural engineer reported that a key support beam needed repair.

The city of Miami Beach deemed the building, Port Royale, unsafe and told residents to evacuate “immediately,” spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said.

The co-owners only had a few hours to go out. They carried pets and loaded cars, showed local TV reports, faced with finding a place to stay for at least 10 days.

Engineers inspecting the site as part of its 50-year recertification said they discovered a growing crack and deflection in a main beam in the building’s garage, meaning the beam was twisting or moving away from its intended position.

“We believe that this beam and the other beams located in the third-floor garage could support the entire structure of the building,” an inspector and engineer from Inspection Engineers Inc. wrote in a letter to the city dated Thursday, though they said it was observational because they don’t have the original structural calculations of the building.

It could take about 10 days to design and install shoring to fix the problem, the engineers wrote, who said a shoring expert was working on calculations for the design, which must be submitted to the city for approval and clearance. before work can begin. Once the shoring is installed, engineers will assess whether it is safe for residents to return home.

City engineers also visited the building to inspect what engineers found in the garage and agreed that residents should be evacuated, the letter said.

‘Still a nightmare’: Surfside families mark one year since collapse

The 163-unit building was built in 1971, according to county property records. Located on Collins Avenue, it is down the road from the site where the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium building collapsed in June 2021, killing nearly 100 people.

Residents were warned by the condo board on Wednesday that they might need to vacate the premises, the Miami Herald reported, but weren’t ordered to evacuate until around 5 p.m. Thursday, when the board instructed them to evacuate. Said to get out before 7 p.m.

Photos in the engineers’ report showed damage and crumbling near the property line, water seeping into an active power gutter, and problems with the columns.

Engineers discovered problems in the garage about 10 months ago and marked various areas for repair, they said in the letter. Repairs began four weeks ago, and the problem with the harness was discovered during inspections this week.

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