They will demolish the Miami building that did not collapse this Sunday night: they fear that Storm Elsa will produce a dangerous, spontaneous collapse.
The operation will take place tonight between 10 pm, and 3 am due to the imminent arrival of Storm Elsa and its dangerous winds.
Demolition crews prepare tonight to demolish the remainder of the partially collapsed apartment building in South Florida ahead of a storm that has raised concerns that the structure will collapse dangerously. Authorities suspended search and rescue operations on Saturday, so crews are planting explosives in the concrete of the remaining standing structure of the Champlain Towers South building.
The operation carries risks, but authorities said it was unavoidable. Tropical Storm Elsa is looming from the Caribbean and is forecast to hit Florida on Tuesday morning. The death toll has risen to 24, but 121 people are still unaccounted for.
The operation will take place tonight between 10 pm, and 3 am due to the imminent arrival of Storm Elsa and its dangerous winds. "We urge residents who live in the shelter-in-place area - between 86th and 89th Street and Abbott Avenue and the waterfront - to stay indoors from now on," police said.
"Dust is an unavoidable by-product of all types of demolition. As a precautionary measure, We recommend that you close all windows, doors, and air intakes, cover any other openings that may allow dust to enter your apartment, house, or building, and put the air conditioning on recirculation", police told the neighbors.
Raide Jadallah, deputy chief of the Miami Dead Fire Department, told the families of the victims that it was important to end search operations for security reasons, as such actions could lead to the collapse of the structure. If that happens, he said, it's just going to fall without warning.
In a video transmission of Jadallah's statements to the families of the missing, a woman was heard saying that it was "devastating" that the search was suspended. The woman asked if rescuers could at least work around the perimeter of the site so as not to "stop the operation for so many painful hours."
With Tropical Storm Elsa threatening the Caribbean and predicting its arrival in the state in the next few days, Florida Gov. Ron de Santis said the surface building was "unstable and structurally weak."
Hence, demolition is the thing to do. More prudent.
"If the building is demolished, this will protect our search and rescue teams since we do not know when it will collapse," DeSantis said at a news conference Saturday morning.
Fear of a sudden extinction in advance made it difficult to find in the sectors near this section. The movements detected Thursday morning forced the investigation to be suspended for 15 hours.
Jadallah explained that the remains of the demolished building would be removed immediately so that rescuers have access for the first time to the sector of the parking lot, which is one of the centers of the search. This gives a clear view of possible sects in the wreckage where survivors may be.
There have been no rescues of people alive since the first hours after the collapse of June 24.
An audit conducted after the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside determined that the 156-home Crestview Towers located in North Miami Beach, some five miles (eight kilometers) away, had been declared unsafe in structure and electrical installation. In January, the municipal government reported in a statement. On Friday afternoon, authorities cordoned off the area. They went door-to-door, warning residents that they had to abandon the structure erected 49 years ago.
The first building was evacuated since municipal authorities in South Florida and across the state began reviewing other older skyscrapers after the Surfside incident to ensure that major structural issues are not ignored.