(WSVN) - At first, they feel a rumble. Then, they worry if their homes are damaged. Many residents in part of South Florida are shaking mad from blasting at nearby quarries. The Nightteam’s Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s special assignment report.
Jeffrey Batic: “I’m going to put it here on the island, so we can capture the blasts.”
Jeffrey and Paola Batic will often leave a camera rolling to capture this.
Here you see one of their sons working through the shaking, but the Batics say it’s getting more aggravating by the day.
Paola Batic, homeowner: “You don’t get used to it. You never get used to it.”
Jeffrey Batic, homeowner: “Sometimes it can even knock you off your feet if you’re not careful. It is strong, and it has only gotten stronger.”
The Batics say several times a week, usually around midday, they feel shaking.
They believe it is coming from blasting at one of the nearby limestone quarries.
They also believe it is damaging their Northwest Miami-Dade home.
Jeffrey Batic: “This crack towards the foundation continues all around the entire home.”
And they are not the only ones having this feeling.
Idel Llavore: “Please somebody help.”
Idel Llavore says she has spent tens of thousands of dollars fixing cracks on her home and property.
Last year, she fixed these deep cracks around her pool.
In some of her new tiles, she’s already finding new cracks.
Idel Llavore, homeowner: “I am driving my husband crazy because I have a panic attack. Every time I feel a blast, I start screaming.”
Miguel Martinez is also seeing cracks on the concrete floors of his occupational therapy clinic.
Miguel Martinez, business owner: “One day when a blast hits and dead silence breaks in the room, we watch this crack start emanating right after the blast goes through.”
Homeowners in some neighborhoods in Northwest Miami-Dade and Miami Lakes have put up with the blasting at nearby quarries for years, but Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid says the complaints are escalating.
Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid: “It has progressively gotten worse. The intensity has definitely gone up.”
A few weeks ago, he wrote a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to re-examine the permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that allow rock mining in Miami-Dade County.
Right after he wrote that letter, lawmakers in Tallahassee shut down a bill that could have reduced blasting limits.
Manny Cid: “For us, not having that control, that local control, is very frustrating. Think about it. It’s like having a mini earthquake every day, shaking the foundation of your home. There has to be a way to coexist.”
We did reach out to the Miami-Dade Limestone Products Association, but our phone calls were never returned.
On the organization’s website, it says “everyday activities, such as door slamming and hammering nails, can cause greater vibrations in a home than blasting at our facilities.”
White Rock Quarries is the closest to many of the homes and businesses feeling the vibrations. The company tells us “the data from multiple independent studies … is very clear: blasting within existing limits (which are among the strictest in the nation) does not damage homes.”
“Our blast vibrations are not stronger, but due to increasing residential encroachment and people spending more time at home due to COVID-19, the perception of our blasting may be heightened more than previous years.”
But, these businesses and homeowners are convinced it is the blasting behind these cracks.
Paola Batic: “We’re exhausted. We’re angry, and we feel quite helpless.”
Idel Llavore: “This has to stop somehow.”
Miguel Martinez: “We have to live together. We’re not looking to shut them down. We need to find a common solution.”
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