Miami Beach

Miami Beach Midway Through Building Inspections Prompted by Collapse

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There are 5,000 commercial and residential buildings on Miami Beach, and more than 500 of them are at least 40 years old -- the same age as the Champlain Tower South that collapsed in Surfside several weeks ago.

After the tragedy, the city of Miami Beach sprang immediately into action and ordered a visual inspection of hundreds of buildings currently in the 40-year re-certification process.

That visual inspection took a week to complete.

"The tragedy in Surfside, that's the first time in my life that something like that has happened. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing, we want to make sure this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Mayor Dan Gelber said.

Gelber says 10 buildings got red-tagged for repairs that had to be fixed within 48 hours. Half of them were unoccupied.

When buildings get red-tagged, that doesn't necessarily mean it has structural issues, he said.

The mayor says so far he hasn't seen any inspection issues that rise to the level of concern that resulted in what happened in Surfside.

In addition to the visual inspection, each building has 21 days -- until July 19 -- to issue a licensed report detailing any engineering or structural conditions that are problematic.

The city manager, Alina Hudak, says failure to comply could result in an immediate evacuation.

"If we can't get a letter from a structural engineer assuring us that the building is safe for occupancy and we will have to pull that trigger," Hudak said.

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