Miami Mayor Says 'We Knew Nothing' About Report on Structural Damage in Condo That Collapsed

As the search for missing persons in the rubble of the Surfside condominium tower in Florida continues, a report has emerged that an inspection in 2018 revealed that the building had "major structural damage" requiring extensive repairs.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a press conference on Saturday that the county "knew nothing" about this report, which came out two years before Cava was elected into office.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says county officials did not know of the 2018 report that found structural damage in condo.

— WPEC CBS12 News (@CBS12) June 26, 2021

The 2018 report flagged a "major error" in the Champlain Towers South condo that dated back to the origin of the building, saying that the drainage on the pool deck caused "major structural damage" to a concrete slab beneath it, according to the Miami Herald.

"Failure to replace waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially," wrote engineer Frank Morabito in the report.

It continued to point out flaws in the structure of the building, saying: "Several sizable [cracks in the concrete] were noted in both the topside of the entrance drive ramp and underside of the pool/entrance drive/planter slabs, which included instances with exposed, deteriorating rebar."

"Though some of this damage is minor, most of the concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion."

There is no indication that the condominium association ever actually addressed these issues, per the Herald. There is also no way to say with confidence whether the issues presented in the report had anything to do with the building's collapse on Thursday.

Other records that were released show that the building had received at least and the installation of safety anchors to support window washers on the roof. The last was just issued on Wednesday.

At least 159 people are still unaccounted for in the ruins of the building, and at least four have been pronounced dead.

While Cava said the county was unaware of the 2018 report, she reported at Saturday's news conference that all buildings in the county older than 40 years are to be audited in the next 30 days.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also stated at the press conference that a decision will soon be made as to whether the tower's sister building, Champlain North, will be evacuated out of caution.

#Breaking - @RonDeSantisFL says he expects a decision to be made today on if the residents of the Champlain North Tower will be evacuated. Champlain North is the sister building to the South Tower that collapsed this week. Gov. DeSantis says the mayor will make that decision.

— Kris Anderson (@KrisAndersonTV) June 26, 2021

A deep fire somewhere in the rubble is also hindering the search for survivors as they work to put it out. They are continuing to excavate, but Cava stated that it is hard to locate the source of the fire at the moment.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Andy Alvarez said at the conference: "We have not heard sound for a while," but they continue to have hope and the search will continue.

Newsweek reached out to Cava's office for additional comment.

Dozens Presumed Missing After Residential Building In
SURFSIDE, FLORIDA - JUNE 25: Members of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue team look for possible survivors on June 25, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava stated in a Saturday news conference that the county was unaware of a report from 2018 deeming the building had some structural damages that needed to be repaired. Joe Raedle/Getty Images