© 2023 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Neighbors Near Construction Sites Worry As Hurricane Matthew Approaches

Lydia Martin
Paraiso Bay, a construction site in Edgewater, is a cause of concern for neighbors as Hurricane Matthew nears.

All across Miami-Dade and Broward, construction sites are in various stages of finish and neighbors are worried that as Hurricane Matthew impacts the region, these sites will become safety hazards.

“There’s steel rods, balcony railings, a bunch of things that could be projectiles very easily,” said Elizabeth Schwartz, a Miami attorney who lives next door to condominiums under construction in Edgewater.

“It looks really dangerous,” she said. “I’m very afraid for our home, for our safety, for our neighbors.”

Pat Santangelo, a  spokesperson for the mayor’s office in Miami, said his office has received numerous calls from people like Schwartz concerned about flying debris from active construction sites.

He said city building inspectors have been going out all week to make sure owners are securing their properties.

“Because we’ve been on alert for so many days, hopefully the very hazardous situations have been taken care of,” Santangelo said.

And if they aren’t there are consequences, said Santangelo. Miami-Dade County requires construction sites to have a hurricane plan.

Credit Joan St. Fleur
Joan St. Fluer in Margate lives across the street from this construction site. Tiles line the roof just hours before tropical storm winds are expected.

In the Village of El Portal, a shuttered trailer park is in the process of being demolished. Debris and trailers dot the gated property.

Mayor Claudia Cubillos said she met with the village manager to talk about hurricane preparedness, but she did not immediately return a request from WLRN to talk specifically about the trailer park site.

In Margate, where tropical storm winds were expected to come through as early as 3 p.m., Joan St. Fleur lives across the street from townhomes under construction.

“The company left unsecured piles of shingles on top of the roof. The entire neighborhood is like, ‘What’s going on?’ These shingles are going to go flying into our cars, into our homes.”