Residents of a 14-story condo tower in Miami Beach were given two hours to evacuate their homes Thursday after engineers flagged concerning structural damage at the base of the building.

The city posted an unsafe structure notice at the oceanfront, 164-unit Port Royale Condominium and shortly before 5 p.m., the condo board sent residents a mandatory order to vacate the building by 7 p.m., the Miami Herald reported.

An engineer discovered that a concrete beam in the garage level of the 1971 building had shifted significantly from its original position. The condo tower is currently undergoing a recertification which is required at the 50-year mark in Florida.

The mandatory evacuation order left residents scrambling to pack up their belongings and find a last-minute place to stay for an undetermined number of days.

“I got here at like 5:15 and everybody was scrambling. I was super confused,” a 27-year-old renter named Katie told the Miami Herald.

The residents were notified by the condo board around 5 p.m. of the 7 p.m. deadline to leave the building.
The residents were notified by the condo board around 5 p.m. of the 7 p.m. deadline to leave the building.
NBC6

An engineering firm is working to obtain construction permits from the city and plans to install additional shoring in the garage to secure and support the damaged beam.

Inspection Engineers Inc. said the new shoring should be in place within 10 days — after which engineers would conduct another inspection of the building to determine if more support is needed.

The president of Inspection Engineers Inc. told the local paper that they had to make the difficult call to order people to evacuate their homes.

“We take this very seriously,” Douglas Marcado said. “Nobody wants to throw people out of buildings.”

Florida city officials and engineers alike have been on high alert of any structural damage in waterfront towers after 98 people died when a Surfside residential tower collapsed in June 2021.

The Port Royale Condominium evacuation comes over a year after the Surfside apartment building collapse.
The Port Royale Condominium evacuation comes over a year after the Surfside apartment building collapse, which killed 98 people.
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The Champlain Towers South wreck brought the vulnerability and danger of aging condominium towers along Florida’s coast to the forefront. The state has moved to strengthen laws requiring frequent building inspections and periodic recertification since the disaster.

New state laws require buildings to be recertified after just 30 years — or 25 if they are located within 3 miles of the coast. Prior legislation held off the recertification process until buildings turned 40 years old.

The Champlain Towers South was undergoing its 40-year recertification process when it collapsed.

With Post wires



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