SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials in Surfside and residents of the sister building to the condominium that partially collapsed have raised concerns about the safety of the structure, prompting the mayor to call for residents to be relocated.
Residents remain inside Champlain Towers’ North Tower less than 48 hours after a wing of its sister building, the South Tower, crumbled to the ground.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said Friday that he doesn’t want to take any chances.
“I am going to recommend that we move people out of that building,” he said.
Located a block away from the South Tower, the North Tower has a similar design and layout to the structure that collapsed early Thursday morning.
“We’ve got an identical building one block away with people living in it, and in an abundance of caution, I think we need to relocate those folks,” said Burkett.
As for condo owners in the North Towers, some said they are deeply concerned.
Emelyn Salamorin is on her way to a hotel because her unit doesn’t have power.
When asked how worried she is about a collapse of her building, she said, “Very.”
Other residents are more relaxed.
When asked if he’s concerned, condo owner Juan Perdomo said, “At this moment, no.”
Perdomo, who just moved in a week ago, nevertheless indicated that he still wants an engineer to inspect the building.
Eli Budwick, the president of the North Tower’s condo association, addressed safety concerns.
But despite proper maintenance, Budwick has told the building manager to hire an engineer to do an inspection to double-check it’s safe.
“I’m hoping that this can be down within the next five or six days,” he said.
Burkett said the decision whether to evacuate Champlain North is ultimately up to the town’s building manager.
However, while on the phone with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, the mayor made it clear what he wants to see done.
“If it were me, I don’t think I would stay in a building built the same way,” Burkett said. “I don’t think that building has a problem, but you know what? I am not willing to take that chance.”
While the North Tower remains open, the two buildings immediately next to Champlain South have been evacuated as a precaution.
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