“I think this building has had issues from the start” – CBS Miami

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis believes the Surfside condo collapse may have been an isolated incident and not a sign of widespread problems across the state that could impact the real estate market.

“I think this building had problems from the start; let’s just put it that way, ”DeSantis said at a press conference Wednesday morning in Tallahassee. “So I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about it. “

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The governor was asked about the Surfside tragedy during an update on Tropical Storm Elsa.

Despite the storm, search and rescue efforts at the site of the building collapse continued at full speed, although there were some weather delays related to Elsa on Tuesday. Authorities are hoping to find someone alive among the rubble as the chances of hearing good news dwindle every day.

DeSantis said he saw and spoke to some of the grieving families who lived in Champlain Towers South.

“You see the pain is very, very deep,” he said, also speaking of the extremely difficult waiting game. “But I think the agony of not knowing, could there be a rescue?” Could they potentially see one of their relatives? And then you wait, and then you have no news?

The governor said not knowing worsened the agony and worsened the grief.

“It was, I think, a unique tragedy. You don’t expect to see so many people affected. When I received the first reports early in the morning I announced a partial collapse. And yes, maybe I was thinking of a balcony or part of a building. But when you look, I mean, it was a massive collapse of a structure that just isn’t happening in this country. “

Recovering from the disaster will not only be difficult for the Surfside community, but also for all of South Florida, Florida and the world, DeSantis said.

“We have people all over the world to mourn the tragedy. I mean, these are people who touch people. When I talk to the Israeli Prime Minister, I mean obviously they sent people, we have a lot of people who had connections in Latin America and obviously right here in our own communities. And so it’s going to be tough. “

He referred to conversations he had with people who lived in the building.

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“I think it’s going to be difficult to get everyone back on their feet. I mean, even the people who didn’t lose anyone, but then left their units. I told people that literally if their unit had gone 10 meters further in one direction they would have been in the rubble, and they actually have pictures of their departure. You have people who have escaped, it is a very traumatic experience. And then all of their possessions are basically, basically gone. Their house is now gone.

Before the controlled implosion of the remaining unstable part of the building on Sunday night, DeSantis asked if residents could come in and collect their belongings, but the answer was no.

“It was too dangerous to be able to do that. And so it’s very sad, because you have everything from valuables and heirlooms to all those other things.

While grateful to be alive, he said, survivors have a long road to recovery.

“Taking these people off their feet, what’s it going to do in terms of mental health and traumatic experience.” And then of course, families who have lost someone, it’s going to be a deep wound for a long time, ”DeSantis said. “But as tragic as it was, I think the outpouring of support showed a lot of great parts of our community. Certainly the people, the first responders; they are invested in this mission. When you have to take these guys off that pile, they want to be there, they want to be able to identify with themselves, they want to be able to participate in this rescue mission. And that’s something that really inhabits them in terms of mission accomplishment.

When the governor was asked about the impact of the Surfside collapse on the real estate market, DeSantis replied, “Is this something that was unique to this building? Was it something that was unique to the person who may have developed it? Because obviously there are sister properties. Is this something that buildings of this age would have implications beyond that, whether it’s South Florida or the entire state of Florida? I think we need to get those definitive answers.

At this point, DeSantis said conversations with people there had led him to believe the collapse may be an isolated incident and not a sign of widespread problems across the state that could impact the market. immovable.

“I think this building had problems from the start. Let’s just put it that way, ”he said. “So I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about it. But at the same time, if there’s something identified, it would have broader implications than the Champlain Towers, so obviously we’re going to, you know, we’re going to take that and do the right thing.

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Teams removed 124 tonnes of debris from the site. It is sorted and stored in a warehouse as potential evidence in the investigation into why the building collapsed, officials said.

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