As investigations continue into why and how the Champlain Towers South condo crumbled in Surfside last week, officials are turning an eye toward other older high-rises in South Florida and around the state. Now, after a suggested audit by the Miami-Dade County mayor of all buildings 40 years or older, the city of North Miami Beach has shut down one of its own, ordering the evacuation of a 156-unit condo complex just 5 miles from Champlain Towers, reports the AP. Per a city release, the 10-story Crestview Towers Condominium, built in 1972, had been found in January to be electrically and structurally unsafe, and so, "in an abundance of caution, the city ordered the building closed immediately and the residents evacuated for their protection," City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III says. A "full structural assessment" of the complex, which had reported millions of dollars in damages from 2017's Hurricane Irma, will be carried out to help officials decide what to do next, he adds.
Among the issues noted by Miami's B&A Engineering Services in the Jan. 11 report, turned in to the city by the condo association on Friday, were columns, beams, walls, sills, balcony slabs, and other structural pieces "showing distress," including "cracks and spalls found throughout," per the Miami Herald. Also, "some previous repairs were visible," and multiple repairs were recommended, including to emergency lights, fire alarms, smoke detectors, an electrical room, and an emergency generator. Sorey tells the paper the condo association was "keeping [the report] from us," until the city threatened to shut the building down. The North Miami Beach Police Department helped with the evacuation Friday, the first since the Surfside collapse, with the American Red Cross assisting displaced residents. NBC Miami notes there are more than 300 residents. One evacuee tells the AP the situation is "unfortunate" but adds: "Knowing what happened in Surfside ... it's understandable." (Read more Florida condo collapse stories.)