Surfside, FL Building Collapse: What Will Happen Next?
On Thursday, June 24, 2021, around 1:30 a.m., the Champlain Towers South collapsed in Surfside, FL. The Champlain Towers consists of 3 multistory residential buildings located right along the beach. Built in 1981, the South Tower’s 40-year-recertification process had just begun to address repairs. As of July 2, 18 people are confirmed dead and 145 people are still unaccounted for after the condo collapse.
In 2018, Morabito Consultants, a structural engineering firm, found major structural damage and many other residents have raised concerns about the building’s much-needed repairs. So far, five lawsuits have been filed following the collapse—many targeting the Champlain Towers South Condo Association. We can expect more lawsuits in the future as lawyers and authorities discover what caused the condo collapse.
The building collapse is being followed closely around the world. It resonates with so many because each one of us goes to sleep at night not knowing, but expecting to wake up to the life we had the day before. This accident reminds us all of our vulnerability – particularly in the wake of the pandemic from which we were all emerging with a sense of vigor and hope.
The tragedy of a fatal building collapse anywhere is notable, but these events in Florida are particularly ominous because they are unfolding in a luxurious, beachfront, condominium community at the same time the country is wrestling with prioritizing infrastructure spending and climate change – a concern implicated by the location of the Surfside collapse and the need to determine whether coastal erosion and rising tides are involved in this accident.
Years from now, when the multitude of public and private inquiries into the events and failures that led to this particular catastrophe are complete, and responsibility is meted out among the building management, contractors, architects, engineers, advisors, governmental inspectors and all others who expected the sun to rise in Surfside, Florida, on June 24 as it had the day before, what will we have learned?
Resources for Victims and Loved Ones of The Surfside Champlain Towers Condo Collapse
American Red Cross
American Red Cross is partnering with local authorities to assist people impacted by this tragedy by providing food at the family reception center, mental health support, and helping residents find a safe place to stay. They offer several online and mail donation options.
To donate visit https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html. If you’re looking to donate by check or to a specific cause, there is a donation form that must be printed and sent to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839.
To donate by phone or for assistance, call 1-800-435-7669. For Spanish, call 1-800-435-7669, and for a TDD operator call 1-800-220-4095.
Catholic Charities, Local Archdiocese of Miami
Catholic Charities is ready to see what resources families will need. They are collecting financial contributions for those affected by the building collapse in Surfside, FL. To donate, visit https://www.ccadm.org/support-our-mission/?cid=701G0000000myZS
Florida Blue, along with New Directions Behavioral Health, is offering a free 24-hour-a-day grief counseling and bilingual helpline for those in need of support following the Surfside collapse. Anyone in Florida is eligible and insurance is not needed to call 1-833-848-1762.
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
If you or a loved one have been affected by the building collapse tragedy, call 2-1-1, which is the Jewish Community’s 24/7 hotline that can help with housing, counseling, and other services.
To help Surfside building collapse victims, please visit Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s campaign.
Miami Tragedy Central Emergency Fund
The Shul of Bal Harbour and Skylake Synagogue has created a central fund to be dispersed as needed directly to the victims and families. They have raised more than $160,000 from over 1,300 donors.
Please consider donating the following items:
- Phone chargers
The city of Miami, as well as the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Department, has set up a reunification hotline for families to call 305-614-1819.
State Resources Open for Businesses, Displaced Residents Affected By Collapse
Businesses affected by the collapse of the condo complex in Surfside are being asked to complete a damage assessment survey to help the state direct resources to them.
The survey can be taken at FloridaDisaster.biz BusinessDamageAssessments by selecting the “Surfside Condo Collapse.” For additional assistance, please call 850-815-4925.