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Delay in repair equipment delivery leaves Florida beachfront residents possibly homeless after evacuation

Water was found "gushing" in the mechanical area after spreading under the building, making electrical conduits rot away.
Credit: warongdech - stock.adobe.com

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla — People living in an oceanfront condominium building near Fort Lauderdale were evacuated after authorities said electrical problems increased their risk of being electrocuted or getting caught in a fire.

Now delays in getting some of the equipment needed to make repairs could force some 60 residents out of their homes at Crane Crest Apartments for several months.

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea leaders ordered the nine-story building evacuated on Friday. 

Homeowner association vice president Jim Hook says a temporary fix could be made in a few weeks. But supply chain issues could delay the delivery of specialized equipment for months. 

Hook said they knew there was a problem when the air conditioners were not working, the Associated Press reports. Water was found "gushing" in the mechanical area after spreading under the building, making electrical conduits rot away.

Hook said he's "been he’s been criticized by some residents for sharing the information with town officials because it led to the evacuation," AP explains. But he says safety is "at the forefront of our minds."

Ever since 98 people died in the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, a growing number of buildings have been evacuated as precautionary measures.

RELATED: Reports: South Florida apartment building evacuated after failing 40-year inspection

North Miami Beach, Fla.:

The 156-unit Crestview Towers were found "structurally and electrically unsafe" during an audit done after the deadly Surfside condo collapse.

The mayor of Miami-Dade County suggested audits of buildings 40 and older to make sure they are in compliance with the local recertification process. The condominium building was built in 1972, which prompted the audit.

Miami Beach, Fla.:

A three-story apartment building in South Florida was evacuated when an inspector discovered structural damage in a vacant unit.

A city building inspector found a flooring system failure and "excessive deflection" on an exterior wall.

The building contains 24 units, and 11 units were unoccupied. Only one person needed assistance with finding somewhere else to stay.  

Coral Springs, Fla.:

After the Villa Bianca Condominium in Coral Springs failed its 40-year recertification in July, people were ordered to evacuate.

NBC Miami reported photos shown to a code enforcement board revealed the roof was deteriorating.

Miami-Dade County Courthouse:

The Miami-Dade County Courthouse will be repaired because of safety concerns found during a review prompted by Surfside condo collapse, leaders said.

An engineering firm that examined the 28-story courthouse recommended that it undergo immediate structural repairs and floors 16 and above be closed.  

In a report, engineering firm U.S. Structures Inc. said during its June 30 inspection, it found structural distress in various structural members such as support beams and joists, including steel columns that are in “poor condition" and concrete columns that have numerous cracks.