By Cameron Buford, Whatsgoodinsports.com
The professional sports teams in South Florida sprang to action to assists the first responder’s needs after the collapse of the Chaplain Towers. Just recently, the landscape of the North Miami skyline has changed forever when a portion of a 136-unit condo collapsed. In the Surfside town, north of Miami Beach and just south of North Miami, nearly 55 units of the Champlain Towers South building came down due to years of neglect from structural damage the building had incurred.
A consulting engineers report from 2018 detailed the growing issues with the structure of the building. The report detailed the disregard of the waterproofing issues, crumbling concrete, corroded rebar that led to the decay of this former oceanside oasis. As the price of repairs continued to grow, the less the condo board and owners seemingly wanted to foot the bill for the 40-year-old structure as it continued to deteriorate.
For years the condo’s Board would quibble over the cost of the repairs and how they would collect the fees for the needed repairs. Yet management openly released details of the planned multimillion-dollar restoration for prospective buyers with repair prices built into the unit’s price. Even though the structural damage had grown progressively worse in recent years, no one could have imagined what would happen in the early morning hours of June 24th.
At approximately 1:25 AM, the pool deck collapsed onto the garage area of the Chaplain Towers. Initiating an ominous set of events, only seconds after the pool deck collapsed, support beams from the south towers gave way. After the support beams fail, the center section of the building then collapses inward. As a result, it caused the north-facing portion of the structure to crumble. Which then caused the east-facing segment of the building to pancake on itself as it collapsed.
At last count, the death toll of this collapse has reached 28, with another 117 people still unaccounted for. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava instructed that the remaining portion of the Chaplain Towers be demolished, as it was the rubble from the collapsed wing that was helping the structure to remain standing. By demoing the remaining of the building, as they did on July 4th, it made it safer for crews to continue their search for potential survivors or bodies, as they also prepare for oncoming Tropical Storm Elsa.
We have come to see after a tragedy of this magnitude, heroic rescue workers and first responders arrive on-site to save any lives and limit the losses each victim may endure. After this tragic event, South Florida Professional Teams were just as responsive. The Miami Dolphins shared their collective thoughts with this statement on Twitter, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and their families as they deal with this sudden and tragic loss. We also appreciate our first responders and volunteers that have worked tirelessly today to lead rescue and relief efforts.” The Dolphins also worked, in conjunction, with Seed Miami Food Truck to deliver meals to the displaced families and first responders of Surfside, as told by Dolphins Senior Vice President, Communications and Community Affairs, Jason Jenkins. Fourth-year Linebacker Jerome Backer and Rookie Wide Receiver Jaylen Waddle would arrive at the family unification center in Surfside to deliver supplies for families and first responders in need.
After Baker embraced Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava he told a group of local reporters at the unification center, “That was heartbreaking, obviously. That was the main thing for me. It’s heartbreaking. Just being involved with the families with all the tragedy in all these people’s lives, and right now, we’re trying to give them a little hope and give as much as we can.”
The Miami Dolphins “Special Teams” program frequently provides emergency relief all over South Florida when needed. Their team owner Stephen Ross has been a longtime advocate of the Dolphins, supporting the various communities in and around Miami. So much so, they’ve become pillars in these very communities, working endlessly to unite people of different backgrounds and experiences to enhance the lives of everyone in the surrounding area.
The Miami Heat also contributed to the relief efforts of the first responders and the multiple displaced families. The Heat’s tweet read as follows, “We were devastated to hear of the catastrophic Champlain Towers building collapse in Surfside. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are thankful for the first responders who are working around the clock in rescue efforts.” Heat Guard Tyler Herro, Assistance Coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass took the 12 mile drive from their Arena north to Surfside to deliver a truck full of water, food, and other essentials for the first responders on site. The Miami Marlins contributed to the cause by “sending three vans filled with meals and water to the rescue workers and kits of essential items and toiletries to the residents who have been displaced and families who have been impacted.” Their post on Twitter shows the vans loaded and ready to be delivered the those in need.
I am sure the families who had their lives thrown into chaos due to this tragic event are very grateful for each of these teams’ involvement in their relief aid. Not to mention those first responders who are still on sight, searching for lives and the bodies of those who have yet to be unaccounted for.
The teams should be commended for their generosity and responsiveness to aid the families and first responders in this circumstance. These teams, should also be applauded for displaying their teamwork and unity throughout their communities. Simultaneously, providing an example for society to follow!
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