Story at a glance

  • A letter penned by the condominium association board of directors writes of cracks in the building as of April 9.
  • It adds conditions had become “significantly worse” since an inspection two years prior.
  • Nearly a dozen residents are confirmed dead, with another 150 still missing.

Warnings of the deterioration of the Surfside condominiums prior to the fatal collapse that occurred last week continue to emerge, with a new letter describing the building’s basement garage having “gotten significantly worse” since an inspection roughly two and a half years prior.

First reviewed by USA Today, a letter, dated April 9, implied millions were needed for adequate repairs. It adds to the growing body of evidence and documentation of the decayed conditions of the now-collapsed Champlain Towers South building.

The new letter, given to reporters by a family member of two residents who are still missing, underscores the tension between residents and management over the conditions of the condo complex.

“We have discussed, debated, and argued for years now, and will continue to do so for years to come as different items come into play,” the letter, authored by Jean Wodnicki, president of the association’s board of directors, read.

A previous report compiled by engineers with the firm Morabito Consultants detailed major structural flaws in the condo building, primarily with the concrete along the balconies that suffered water damage.

Engineers who inspected the building for the report in 2018 added that “Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially.”

Pictures of deteriorating pillars along the lower level of the condo towers were provided in the report, showing major cracks in the concrete. Experts have suggested that the point of collapse could stem from the base or near the bottom of the building. 

Wodnicki’s letter corroborated this sentiment and explained that cracks in concrete lead to an unstable building.

“When you can visually see the concrete spalling [cracking], that means that the rebar holding it together is rusting and deteriorating beneath the surface,” she reportedly told residents.

As 11 people have been confirmed dead and more than 150 residents remain missing, the surrounding community has begun to seek legal relief. 

New class action lawsuits have been filed against the Champlain Towers South condominium association due to the collapse, alleging negligence by the building’s operators and management.

Published on Jun 29, 2021