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Residents Of Evacuated Crestview Towers In North Miami Beach Allowed To Retrieve Belongings

By Brooke Shafer

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    MIAMI, Florida (WFOR) — Some people who lived in the Crestview Towers building in North Miami Beach were allowed inside on Wednesday morning to collect their belongings.

The 10-story building, located at 2025 Northeast 164th Street, was deemed unsafe and evacuated about three weeks ago. Since then, residents have only had one other chance to pick up their things.

“I got many calls and emails, so did the city, about residents wanting to get their belongings out,” said North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo. “All of their valuables, their furniture. They want to move on with their lives.”

The mayor told CBS4’s Brooke Shafer after Wednesday, the condo association will work to schedule appointments with residents who would like to retrieve their belongings. DeFillipo said only a certain number of people will be allowed in the building at a time and the appointments should start next week Monday.

“There’s only one elevator, I believe, that’s functioning, so depending on how many people we can get at one time to do this, I’m supposing may be anywhere between five to ten people at a time,” he said.

DeFillipo added once residents are inside, they will have as much time as needed to gather their belongings. He said the condo association is still working to figure out if they will schedule appointments by floor or by odd and even-numbered units.

The mayor said there are still serious issues with the building, like a generator that’s not working properly and eroding concrete on balconies, that make the apartments unsafe to live in.

“All my things are there, this is my home, this is my home,” said Ivana Mora, who showed up with a plastic bin and some bags to get her things on Wednesday morning.

She’s currently sleeping on her dad’s couch, she said. She and her sister, who is pregnant, lived on the 7th floor until they were told three weeks ago, they had mere hours to evacuate.

“I want to get my clothes, shoes, things that are irreplaceable,” Mora said. “Clothes that my mom decided to give me from her past.”

There is still no clear timeline on when issues with the building will be fixed. DeFillipo said Wednesday he hopes to get it back open as soon as possible for people who want to continue living at the Crestview Towers.

But some residents, like Joey Rodriguez and his girlfriend, have already decided to find another place to live.

“We’ve just been really looking for an apartment because they haven’t really been communicating with us,” Rodriguez said. “Fortunately, we found something. But I feel bad for the people who haven’t and they can’t get another place right away.”

He showed up at the Crestview Towers on Wednesday after hearing some people were allowed inside. Rodriguez said communication with the building’s staff has been increasingly difficult.

“We want to get our stuff. We haven’t been able to get anything in really three weeks,” he said. “They say, ‘hey call this number, we’re going to be able to help you out’. It’s the number of the building, no one answers the phone. They respond to emails sparingly. It’s just really difficult.”

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