LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. (AP) — An oceanfront condominium with electrical problems near Fort Lauderdale has been evacuated, and now supply chain delays in getting equipment for repairs could keep the residents out of their homes for months.
City officials told the South Florida SunSentinel that residents were ordered out of the Crane Crest Apartments in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea on Friday after authorities said electrical problems increased the risk of fire and electrocution..
Jim Hook, the homeowner association’s vice president, told the SunSentinel that a temporary fix for the electrical equipment could happen as quickly as two weeks, but anticipated supply chain issues for the specialized equipment could last months.
The nine-story, 107-unit complex has only a few dozen residents in the off-season, but more in the winter when residents from the northeast and international and Canadian snowbirds come down.
Hook said they first realized there was a problem when air conditioners stopped working. Water was found to have spread under the building, and was gushing in the mechanical area. Electrical conduits under the building were rotted away. An engineer warned the building won’t pass its mandatory 50-year reinspection until fixes are made.
Hook said he’s been criticized by some residents for sharing the information with town officials because it led to the evacuation. But he said safety is “at the forefront of our minds.”
At least three large multi-unit buildings in South Florida have been evacuated due to safety problems in the months since Champlain Towers South in Surfside collapsed, killing 98 people.