Collapsed Florida tower could have been repaired faster under repealed law, experts say

Florida

If a 2008 Florida law that required condos to plan for repairs had still been in place, "this never would have happened," said the legislator who sponsored the law.

A workers make her way past the rubble and debris of the Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Fla. on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. Officials overseeing the search at the site of the Florida condominium collapse seem increasingly somber about the prospects for finding anyone alive. They said Tuesday that crews have detected no new signs of life in the rubble nearly two weeks after the disaster struck at the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald via AP)

SURFSIDE, Fla. (NBC News) — Late last year, after years of delays and disputes, the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association began a desperate search for $16.2 million to fix major structural damage that was slowly threatening the Surfside high-rise — and that may have contributed to the building’s partial collapse June 24.

The obvious place to look was the building’s reserve fund — extra money socked away to cover the cost of future repairs. But the account held just $777,000, according to condo board documents — nowhere near enough to soften the blow.

The collapse, which killed at least 60 people and left 80 others missing, occurred before the condo board could collect the needed money from residents and begin repairs. The cause of the collapse is unknown, and investigators, experts and advocates are trying to determine whether the uncompleted repairs played a role, whether the board could have seen the problem coming earlier — and whether a Florida law regulating condo repairs that was repealed a decade ago could have made a difference.

Read the full story from NBC News.

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