Engineer Knew Florida Building Needed Repairs Before it Collapsed

Engineer Knew the Building Was Unsafe Before it Collapsed

( – Millions of Americans are holding their breath with the families who are missing someone they love in the Surfside, Florida condo collapse. As the country waits for news on those who were in the building when it pancaked on itself, there are questions about what may have caused it. After all, building collapses don’t just happen in the US. New reporting shows that three years ago, an engineer warned there were pre-existing problems with this particular condo building.

On June 26, the Miami Herald reported an engineer, Frank Morabito of Morabito Consultants, flagged a “major error” that may have caused the collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condo. The expert issued a report in 2018, saying a lack of proper drainage on the pool deck caused “major structural damage.” Morabito said the issue was a design flaw that dated back to the “development of the original contract documents.”

The report outlined structural damage to the building caused by years of standing water. He found “deteriorating rebar,” large cracks, and “distress/fatigue” in areas on the pool deck and in the parking garage that was under the living space. The estimated cost to repair the damage was $9 million and Morabito said it needed to be done in a “timely fashion.” According to reports, the building’s owners were about to start making payments toward the repairs — three years after the warning.

It’s too early to know whether or not the problems the engineer outlined in that report had anything to do with the collapse. Authorities have said they’re focused on search and rescue efforts right now. When they have saved everyone possible (if there is anyone to save) and recovered those who lost their lives, then authorities will begin investigating what caused the collapse. But that investigation could take months or years, even though the engineer’s report is a good place to start.

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