A Surfside, FL official told residents the Champlain Towers South condominium was “in very good shape” while disregarding warnings of “major structural damage,” according to a November 2018 board meeting.
The 12-story, 136 unit building suddenly collapsed Thursday morning. In October of 2018, consultant engineer Frank Morabito reported “abundant cracking” and crumbling in the underground parking garage. He called for repair work, saying the waterproofing below the pool deck and entrance drive were failing, “causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas.”
Morabito was hired to work on the building’s 40-year recertification process. Minutes from the aforementioned meeting claim board official Ross Prieto reviewed the engineer’s report sharing concerns and needed repair work. When questioned, Prieto, who is no longer on the board, said he does not recall receiving such a report.
It is unclear whether or not the collapse was a direct cause of the issues cited by Morabito. As of Monday, ten residents have been found dead and over 150 remain unaccounted for. The incident led Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency.
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC ACTION NEWS
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