Florida is sending help to Iowa after building collapse killed 3

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Staff from the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Transportation are in Davenport, Iowa to assist local work crews after a partial building collapse killed three people.

“At the request of Iowa, I’ve directed FLSERT and FDOT to deploy personnel to assist in the ongoing recovery in Davenport following the recent building collapse,” Florida Governor Ron Desantis said June 5. “We are proud to help the people of Iowa.”Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds sent a letter to President Biden this week requesting federal assistance for Scott County following the May 28 collapse of the Hotel Davenport Apartments in Davenport.

The request for an emergency declaration includes assistance for debris removal,  demolition, reimbursement for response activities, and technical assistance.

“HSEMD has communicated the need for support with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE),” Reynolds wrote in the letter to Biden. “However, FEMA and the USACE have conveyed that, absent the issuance of a Presidential Declaration, they are unable to render assistance to support the State of Iowa’s ongoing response and recovery efforts, and NIST does not believe this collapse will meet their requirements for engagement.”

A section of the century-old six-story building near the Mississippi River fell on May 28, setting off a frantic rescue effort. Hours later, after pulling several residents to safety, officials said they had no evidence at that time that anyone else was left in the rubble.

City documents, released last week and cited in the lawsuits, suggest concerns were conveyed to the city and property owner Andrew Wold over the course of months.

Efforts now have shifted to removing debris and dismantling the structure.

The governor issued an emergency proclamation on May 29 to deploy state resources to the response.

Reynolds’ letter asserts the partial collapse “is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capability of the State and the affected local governments.” The emergency response is estimated to be at least $5 million, according to the governor’s request.

There will be no federal investigation of the collapse.

Wold released a statement dated May 30 saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with our tenants.”

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