Saturday, June 06, 2009

Miami Beach's Fontainebleau Hotel Suffers Interior Flooding. By Genius of Despair

Yesterday’s deluge of about 7 inches of rain, brought interior flooding at the newly renovated (A cost reported at between $500 Million to $1 Billion) Fontainebleau Hotel according to the Miami Herald. They said:

“...Rainwater ankle deep filled the ground-floor nightclub of the posh resort.” and:
The hotel is left with "...An 8 foot hole in its lobby ceiling."

I previously reported on a complex owned by Marriott but it also has ties to the same family that did the Fontainebleau Hotel renovations. This two building complex had major construction problems and I speculated that a yet unexplored downside of the building frenzy would be shoddy workmanship. Again I ask: Are these two examples isolated or the tip of the iceberg?


Gimleteye said...

Hard to answer that question. But there is another point worth noting. After weeks of rainfall, the water table is saturated. We are at a spring tide, meaning that rainfall has no where to go. My guess is that buildings that use gravity to channel rain run-off into municipal wastewater pipes failed. Under conditions of sea level rise from global warming, yesterday's event (ie. building failures) is exactly what we can expect in the future. No where for the water to go except on the street, overflowing sewers, and into the bay or ocean.

Suzan said...

Having read your previous posts my question would be what standards are enforced and what is the history of enforcement?

We have lately (or maybe not so lately) become a country of no enforcement of any type of standards against the well connected (see KBR/Halliburton).

Is this the case here?

Are the taxpayers just an unending fount of money for insiders (even if checks from future taxpayers have to be checked)?

Thanks for your reporting.


WOOF said...

Miami was not and is not built to last.
A circus of posts and ropes overseen by roustabouts.

youbetcha' said...

Woof is correct... Miami is built on the quicksand of rapid development... Nothing is permanent, you do not see substantial, stately buildings built. You see smoke and mirrors or tin foil and glass with a palm tree thrown in for good measure.

There is no respect for the history of city, county or state here. History begins the day you unpack your luggage, not in 1901. Therefore no one cares about building for the future when there is no past to reflect upon. Without bonding through a historical perspective there will never be ties or connection to the community.

What goes up in one decade, will be demolished in the next. So, who cares what is built? Just get the money out of the project and move on to next thing. It stinks. It speaks poorly of our community.

Mr. Freer said...

All the comments are true but there are things worth saving here.

The Everglades. The reefs. The bay.

We don't have too many geniuses in South Florida, so we can't forget there are things worth fighting for!

Heaven knows the commenters who frequent the Miami Herald website won't be the ones to save us!

Geniusofdespair said...

Mr. Freer, I am hoping you are training the activists of the future.

The North Coast said...

Code enforcement completely lapsed in most cities during the Great Housing Rampage. Miami is not the only city stuck with hundreds of poorly constructed or renovated high rise buildings stuck with construction problems that will dog them for the life of the buildings.

Chicago's South Loop is a total disaster area, replete with 60-story condo towers with massive water seepage problems and other serious construction problems. The developers form separate LLCs for each building, then fold it when the building is completed and the units successfully palmed off on gullible, over-eager buyers. It turns out that code enforcement was totally absent during the boom, and we are now stuck with dozens of unlivable new buildings. One of them,a 7-unit with units costing $1M, was so close to actual collapse the residents had to be evacuated.

I wouldn't expect Miami to be any better. Any city that experienced metastatic "bubble" development in the past decade- Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles, NYC, Atlanta- is probably stuck with hundreds of bad structures that will be drags on the local housing market and cost their owners tens of millions of dollars for mitigation of construction problems.

Anonymous said...

David Bernard is CBS4 News' Chief Meteorologist and Storm Specialist:

The co-op rainfall site on Miami Beach measured 9.3 inches of rain. That was in about 2.5 hours. That verifies radar estimates. A few places probably had
close to 12 inches.

Folks. After 20 plus years of forecasting you tend to get jaded about this storm and that. I can truly say that the storm over Miami Beach today was one of the worst I have seen in my career. Tonight there is complete chaos on the Beach from power outages to flooding. People are walking around
dazed like it's after a hurricane. In fact, this was worse today. The weather after Wilma was nice and there was no flooding. In fact, a lot of the beach didn't lose power and those that did had it back within a day or less.

Radar estimates today showed widespread 8 inch rain totals. A lot of time the rain is underestimated in these situations. There were likely spots that saw up
to a foot of rain. That wouldn't surprise me. Regardless, 8-10 inches of rain in 3 hours is big trouble

June 5, 2009 (6/709 update)

Lunachick said...

Civic activism is on life support. Current culture awards lightning speed change. Reality is, the majority of people don't want to be bothered. When the occasional storm of the ages hits, people only want to know where the calvary (and Comcast/FPL) is. Only when emergency response isn't swift enough do heads roll. It's not unique to Miami, either. Give them their HDTV, X-Box & DSL and leave em alone.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love that union workmanship.


Anonymous said...

THe SRB's that push up space shuttles, also push
2.8 million pounds per FOOT downwards.
Can Florida's coral rock base take such a beating?