8 hr 15 min agoStructural engineering company that inspected building in 2018 says it ‘detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete’ and gave estimate for ‘extensive and necessary repairs’From CNN’s Rosa Flores in Surfside, Florida, and Hollie Silverman in Atlanta
Morabito Consultants, a structural engineering firm, said in a statement issued Saturday afternoon it completed a report in 2018 that “detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete” at Champlain Towers South and provided an estimate of costs to “make the extensive and necessary repairs.”
CNN previously reported that the report noted major structural damage.
Champlain Towers South Condominium Association hired the firm again in June 2020 to prepare a building repair plan for the 40-year recertification, according to the statement.
Morabito Consultants provides only engineering consulting services, not repair or restoration contracting, the statement said.
“We are deeply troubled by this building collapse and are working closely with the investigating authorities to understand why the structure failed. As we do so, we also continue to pray for all those impacted by this tragic event,” the firm said in the statement.
Morabito Consultants has nearly four decades of experience providing services for building structures, including high-rises, residential and commercial buildings, as well as educational and health care facilities, according to the statement.
9 hr 6 min agoA father who was in the hotel next to the collapsed condo says he thought they were in a tornado, his kids are still shakenFrom CNN’s Hollie Silverman
Daniel Groves was on vacation with his family in Surfside, staying on the second floor of a hotel next to the Champlain Towers when the collapse happened.
The family was “dead asleep” when the collapse occurred around 1:20 a.m., he said.
“It literally sounded like a bomb going off, like it was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Groves told CNN. “The whole building shook. I mean, I felt like we were in the worst earthquake in my life.”
“It shook very violently,” he added.
Groves said he opened the curtains of his hotel room and couldn’t see past more than four to five feet, but noticed a big crack in the glass where debris had hit. He said he thought they were in a tornado and began yelling at his wife to get up just as alarms began to sound in the building.
He and his wife grabbed their children, ages 3 and 7, leaving all their belongings behind and ran a few blocks away. Groves then took a video of the immediate aftermath of the collapse, still unsure of what had happened. The video shows the pile of rubble and debris littering the area.
“The scariest thing. I thought a tornado literally just hit and they just said no, the building is gone,” he is heard saying in the video.
He and his family have since gone to Disney to try to “get a little joy” following the tragedy.
“It’s not real good. My kids are really shook,” Groves said. “Toilet flushes, my kids are screaming. … A bell on the elevator dings, my kids hold their ears. I don’t know what the long-term effects are going to be.”
9 hr 38 min agoEscambia County is deploying THOR, a mobile command center, to help in rescue effortsFrom CNN’s Kay Jones
Courtesy Escambia County/FacebookAn emergency mobile command center from Florida’s Escambia County is being deployed to aid in the recovery and rescue efforts of the Champlain Towers South condo collapse.
The command center, known as THOR, is scheduled to leave Sunday morning at the request of the state, the county’s emergency management team said in a news release Saturday afternoon. An emergency management employee will also be deployed with THOR for 10 days.
The mobile command post offers 1,000 square feet of working space, according to the news release. It has a 44-kilowatt generator with 72 hours of fuel on board as well as dual air conditioning units.
“The situation in which we have to use this resource is very unfortunate,” Eric Gilmore, Escambia County’s interim public safety director, said in a statement. “We are proud to assist our partners in any way we can.”
Escambia County is in northwest Florida, on the border with Alabama.
10 hr 6 min agoThe daughter of a woman missing in the collapse says her mother had concerns about work being done on other buildingsFrom CNN’s Hollie Silverman
Magaly “Maggie” Ramsey told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer her mother Magaly Delgado, who is among the missing in the Champlain Towers South condo collapse, had raised concerns about work being done on other buildings having possible impacts on her building.
Ramsey said her mother didn’t really complain about her building but had raised concerns about ongoing assessments as well as tremors from the construction of a new building nearby.
“I will say that when the other building beside it, which is relatively new, was being built she did complain of a lot of tremors and things that were being done to the other building that she sometimes was concerned what may be happening to her building that might be putting it at risk as a result,” Ramsey explained.
Delgado came from Cuba and made her way to “live her best life” by the water in the Champlain Towers, where she had lived on the ninth flo
A 2018 report ‘detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete’ and provided repair costs for the Florida condo building where dozens are still missing
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