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Florida Condo Collapse: Nobody Told Homeowners that their Building Was Sinking “at an Alarming Rate”

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Champlain Towers South Collapsed in Surfside, Florida at Approximately 1:23 A.M. on Thursday, June 24, 2021

Champlain Towers South Collapsed in Surfside, Florida at Approximately 1:23 A.M. on Thursday, June 24, 2021 (Source: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Surfside is a town just north of Miami Beach, Florida. It was incorporated in 1935. At approximately 1:23 a.m. yesterday, part of a 12-story high-rise collapsed in the town leaving 99 people missing and four confirmed deaths as of early this morning. The condo building is known as Champlain Towers South and is located at 8777 Collins Ave. in Surfside.

A report in USA Today has now left the whole town of Surfside on edge. According to the report, Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University, co-published a study with Simone Fiaschi in April of last year that found that the condo building “had some kind of unusual movement,” and had been sinking at the rate of 2 mm per year during the course of the study, which looked at satellite data from 1993 to 1999.

Unfortunately, the researchers do not appear to have brought their findings to the attention of town officials or residents. USA Today reports the following:

“Wdownski said he doesn’t believe anybody in the city or state government would have had a reason to be aware of the findings of the study. The bulk of it focused on potential flooding hazards, not engineering concerns.”


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