KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – The tragedy in Miami-Dade County’s town of Surfside had a ripple effect on residents of condominium buildings in south Florida — some of whom had concerns that actually turned out to be unfounded.
Officials report they are getting flooded with complaints about alleged structural issues, cracks, water dripping, and difficulties with condo associations.
Nelly Tedone felt the fear in Key Biscayne, a barrier island municipality across the Rickenbacker Causeway from the city of Miami’s Brickell neighborhood.
Tedone is a resident of the Towers of Key Biscayne, a two-building condominium complex at the south end of the island and next to the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.
One of the towers was built in 1971 and the other a year later. A video on TikTok showed cracks on the ceiling of a parking garage. Some residents there panicked.
“I live on the first floor,” Tedone said. “The building is old.”
A structural engineer responded quickly. The village manager and the fire chief also showed up to investigate. Key Biscayne Mayor Michael W. Davey was out of town.
The engineer determined the building is safe.
What appeared to be a crack, was not a flaw. It was part of the original design of the building. The inspection revealed it was an expansion joint designed to hold different parts of the building together.
Something similar happened at Hamilton on the Bay in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood. The parking garage has temporary support beams.
Residents said there were cracks in the concrete in the garage and exposed rebar in the outside of the building. A spokesperson for the building’s association said an engineer deemed the building was safe and the repairs to the 37-year-old building were ongoing.
Joann Hussey, a spokeswoman for Broward County’s city of Hollywood said officials there are dealing with a tsunami of complaints.
At the Sea Air Towers, a 362-unit condominium complex in Hollywood Beach, residents worried about exposed rebar and issues with the parking garage as well.
“We are hearing from residents. We are creating a task force,” Hussey said. “This is an all-hands-on-deck approach … Our staff will handle the volume of requests that are coming on to ensure compliance.”
To deal with the concerns, Hussey said employees from other departments are helping Code Enforcement.
The complaints triggered the Fire Department and Building inspector to pay attention, and a case can end up before a special magistrate. Broward County has an unsafe structures board.
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