Calling Surfside a 'unique tragedy,' Florida Gov. DeSantis won't commit to stricter building inspections

Asked about whether the collapse could hurt Florida’s surging real-estate market, DeSantis appeared to indicate the collapse could be unique.

Calling Surfside a 'unique tragedy,' Florida Gov. DeSantis won't commit to stricter building inspections
PHOTO BY FLORIDA TASK FORCE 3

Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t ready to propose changes in state oversight of aging high-rise condominium buildings in the aftermath of the deadly Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside.

Calling such condominiums “a dime a dozen” and describing the collapse of the 40-year-old oceanfront building as a “unique tragedy,” DeSantis said Wednesday it remains unknown if the disaster will require extensive changes on issues such as building inspections or construction.

“Obviously, we want to be able to identify, why did this happen?” DeSantis told reporters while at the state Emergency Operations Center discussing the impacts of Tropical Storm Elsa. “Is this something that was unique to this building? Is it something that was unique to the person that maybe developed it, because obviously there are sister properties? Is it something that buildings of that age, that would have implications beyond that, whether (in) southern Florida or the entire state of Florida? I think we need to get those definitive answers.”

One focus in the collapse of Champlain Towers South has been degradation of reinforced concrete support in the building’s underground parking garage and corrosion of steel.

Asked about whether the collapse could hurt Florida’s surging real-estate market, DeSantis appeared to indicate the collapse could be unique.

“I can just say this, having talked with people who've been on the scene, people who've done stuff, I think this building had problems from the start. Let’s put it that way,” DeSantis said. “So I wouldn't jump to conclusions about it. But at the same time, if there is something identified that would have implications broader than Champlain Towers, then obviously we are going to take that and act as appropriate.”

Rescue workers from across the globe have descended on the community north of Miami Beach since the June 24 partial collapse of the building. The remaining section was demolished on Sunday.

Search-and-rescue workers fended off rain and wind from Hurricane Elsa to continue the search, with 60 people confirmed dead as of Thursday morning.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter. 

Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]