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Tag: Surfside

Coronavirus infects vaccinated leader at Florida condo site

MIAMI, Fla. – A vaccinated Miami-Dade county commissioner who helped other local officials in Surfside following the collapse of a condominium building announced that he and his chief of staff tested positive for COVID-19. The news release late Sunday from Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz said he and his chief of staff Isidoro Lopez, who also received a vaccine against COVID-19, came down with flu-like symptoms earlier in the day and later tested positive for the virus. “Staff and others who have been in close contact with them will be getting tested between...

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Cat found alive and reunited with family after Surfside building collapse

       (CNN) — Binx, a cat who lived on the ninth floor of the Champlain Towers South, was reunited with his family on Friday after volunteers found him near the site of the collapse, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a news conference. “After 16 long and extremely difficult days, I’m happy to be able to share a small piece of good news,” the mayor said Friday evening. Levine Cava said there are people who feed the cats in the area surrounding the collapse site and one of the volunteers thought they recognized the cat and brought...

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Florida lawmakers support stricter building inspection rules following Surfside collapse

Former Florida state lawmaker, Julio Robaina (R) believes the Surfside condo collapse could have been prevented if lawmakers had left a state requirement in place. Under the 2008 law, condo associations had to hire engineers and architects every five years to figure out what repairs a building needed. The law was repealed in 2010, led by former State Representative Gary Aubuchon a Southwest Florida, home developer. “I think if I lived in a high-rise tower I would want to know if this place is safe,” said Real Estate Attorney Kevin Jursinski. He would be better able to answer that question...

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Sisters in Florida condo collapse buried in same coffin

SURFSIDE, Fla. – The bodies of two young sisters pulled from the rubble of a Florida condo building — so tiny that the 4 and 10-year-olds were placed in the same casket — were buried alongside their parents Tuesday, their white coffin draped with innocent pink and purple ribbons. Lucia Guara, “Lulu bear,” loved watching “Jeopardy” with her dad, dancing and doing yoga with her mother. Her baby sister, Emma, was the princess of the family, a natural artist, who enjoyed her dad’s piggyback rides and cuddling with her mom, family member Digna Rodriguez said. The hourlong funeral was held...

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Remaining portion of Surfside condo could be demolished by Sunday night

SURFSIDE, Fla. / AP — Demolition specialists are completing preliminary work on the still-standing portion of a partially collapsed condo in Surfside, which could be demolished as early as Sunday night, officials said. If the remaining structure is demolished, it would give rescuers access for the first time to parts of the garage area that are a focus of interest, Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah said. That could give a clearer picture of voids that may exist in the rubble and could possibly harbor survivors. Nearly 80 percent of the drilling needed for demolition has been...

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Royal Caribbean opens cruise ship for hundreds of rescuers in Surfside

MIAMI (AP) — With housing options dwindling, a cruise ship will host hundreds of rescuers pouring into South Florida from across the country as they search for victims continues at a fallen 12-story condominium building near Miami. Royal Caribbean cruise lines said it will host about 600 first responders onboard its Explorer of the Seas ship. The ship, which can accommodate more than 3,000 passengers, began housing rescue teams Thursday and likely will continue for the next month, The Associated Press reports. “This tragedy in our own backyard is heart-wrenching,” said Richard Fain, Royal...

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Fort Myers residents worry about safety of shakey condo building

FORT MYERS, Fla. — In the wake of the devastating condo collapse in Surfside, some local condo owners are concerned about the safety of their own building.  Residents of the Riverside Club off Clifford Street, including the president of the board, are raising the question about construction going on next door.  They say their homes were shaking while crews pushed to build a massive project right outside their window.  “This building was, a lot of shaking going on. A lot of vibration going on,” said James Bolinger.  Bolinger lives on the top floor of the seven...

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Retired medical chief from Pine Island responds to building collapse in Surfside

PINE ISLAND, Fla.– Joe Hernandez arrived home to Pine Island on Thursday after spending several days in Surfside. Hernandez is a retired medical chief. He now he teaches for various search and rescue medical teams. Although Hernandez said he is retired, he still continues to respond to scenes when he is called. On his trip to Surfside, he brought extra equipment for rescue crews to use at the site. Years ago, Hernandez was at Ground Zero during the cleanup from 9/11. He said after that tragedy in New York City, first responders worked extremely hard to save as many lives as...

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President Biden & First Lady to travel to Surfside this week

SURFSIDE, Fla. — President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will go to Surfside, Florida on Thursday, July 1, according to White House officials. Surfside is the town where a condo building partially collapsed, killing at least 11 people. Rescuers are still searching for 150 people who are unaccounted for. The First Madam Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava, released a statement on Biden’s visit: President Biden recently authorized the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts on...

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