Residents of Daytona Beach Shores are disobeying public safety officials over whether or not their beachfront condos are safe to return to, placing the responsibility for their eviction on overly cautious authorities rather than Tropical Storm Nicole.
Due to worries that Nicole may have compromised the structural integrity of 25 structures in Daytona Beach Shores, authorities have declared them dangerous. Additionally, there is a risk that damaged seaside buildings could yet fall.
However, many inhabitants of the Castaways Beach Resort have steadfastly refused to comply with demands to remove their houses made by government officials and law enforcement. The address of Castaways is 2043 S. Atlantic Ave. If you missed it, DeSantis ordered the state to spend $20 million to put emergency sand after Tropical Storm Nicole
Also: Homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea tumble into the ocean due to Tropical Storm Nicole
Photos: Volusia and Flagler counties following tropical storm Nicole
They claim that the resort building was unharmed since the storm surge merely damaged a protective seawall outside the seven-story structure. Robert Longmire, a resort resident, remarked, “Our building is way up here, sturdy as a rock, there is no reason for these people to have to go.”
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“Nobody has the authority to order them to leave; this is their home. This structure is fine. I understand the serious damage that has been done further down at Wilbur-by-the-Sea; I’m not an idiot. But they also ejected us without any justification.
Returning to a dangerous structure? Do not count on first responders to assist you.
Michael Fowler, the director of public safety for Daytona Beach Shores, gave a response on Saturday after raising concerns about people who had opted to return too soon to structures like the resort that had not been certified secure.
Public safety officials, according to Fowler, want citizens to go home as quickly as possible, but only after the right steps have been taken to ensure their safety. To people who prematurely enter buildings that have been evacuated and judged unsafe, he had one clear message: they are on their own.
250 @MyFDOT crews were deployed to respond to Hurricane Nicole, and they have already cleared 10,000 miles of roadway and inspected and reopened 1,100 bridges.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) November 12, 2022
“We have started to get EMS calls for service from people needing medical assistance in structures that had been evacuated this morning,” he said. “We won’t endanger the lives of our first responders to appease those who disobey the chief building official’s directive. We won’t be entering any of these buildings to offer any services. You are on your own if you came here despite being warned that it was dangerous. No, we can’t assist you.
During the hurricane, according to Fowler, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office dispatched 100 deputies to the neighbourhood to knock on doors and organise emergency evacuations from unstable buildings. The city of Daytona Beach Shores then put in place a formal procedure to determine whether structures are secure before allowing residents to return.
Our chief building official assessed 25 buildings to be hazardous and at imminent risk of structural collapse, according to Fowler. “Almost all of them are multifamily high-rise buildings. They are apartments. There are hotels here that were impacted. This has an enormous impact on countless numbers of people.”
No structures are secure as of yet, according to Fowler. “Unfortunately, what’s occurring is that people have chosen to return and reoccupy these hazardous structures on their own. They could fall apart at any moment.
Residents or management businesses who want their buildings to be deemed safe must submit an independent structural engineering report for approval, he added. Fowler said there is no deadline in mind for this procedure, which may take a long time.
Every one of these properties needs to hire a qualified structural engineer who is independent to assess the safety of the building, according to Fowler. Our top building official will receive that from them. After making an assessment based on that information and returning to the site to follow up, it will be decided whether or not the area is safe.
The risk posed to inhabitants of hazardous structures outweighs the inconvenience, according to Fowler, who added that authorities want to assist residents in getting back home as soon as possible.
Fowler declared, “We did everything we could to support these people. “They were given a safe place to remain by Volusia County, but practically everyone disregarded it. It was safe to go, therefore there was no need to return to these homes. It was accomplished quickly and by hundreds of people. The issue is that “all of these people are disobeying the order, contacting us, and expecting us to come back in,” he declared.
Affected or not? Residents of Castaways Beach Resort question the authorities
Longmire, 66, a resident of North Carolina, has spent the past seven winters living seasonally in the resort facility. He owned two apartments at the Castaways Beach Resort, one on the fifth story and the other on the third floor, and he believed that locals were being bullied out of their residences by police enforcement.
“I can understand why people might think so, but it’s up to us. There are buildings along this coastline that have suffered serious damage. Our building is our home if we believe it to be secure, he added. “Nobody has the authority to order us to leave, but they did just that.”
Longmire claimed, “We lost electricity throughout Ian, we didn’t flee, but we had no damage at all. “This cyclone comes along and cracks a small portion of our seawall, and the next day, we have 100 police officers, and I’m not making this up, shutting off the building and the hallways. They terrorised residents as they knocked on doors while wearing swat gear.
A refusal to restore full services to the property, according to Longmire, is endangering people even though the resort building mostly escaped both Tropical Storms Ian and Nicole unharmed. He objected to the choice to refuse emergency services to building occupants.
The following day, when everyone returned, Longmire noted, “Our power never went out, our water is on, but they won’t put our elevators back on.” Senior citizens are currently present up there. There would be no way for them to escape if the building caught fire.
Then Longmire pointed to two motorised scooters for the elderly that were lying around in the lobby and recalled having to bring some of his senior neighbours up and down the stairs by themselves because the elevator in the building was broken.
They can’t walk, so we dragged these individuals up the stairs to the fifth level, Longmire added. “Many of these people have fixed incomes and have lived here for a long time. They have no family and nowhere to go.