Structural engineers with South Florida Urban Search and Rescue traveled to Fort Myers Beach on Saturday, October 2, to assess damage to the city after Hurricane Ian.
Video from the City of Miami shows structural engineer Jack Erdozain, part of South Florida Task Force 2, driving through Fort Myers to survey the damage.
Erdozain said his team had a report that a five-storey condominium had collapsed, and first had to move debris in order to cross the bridge. That building was still standing, he said, but residents needed help getting out of the building.
This footage shows widespread damage to buildings across the city and urban search and rescue teams at work. Credit: City of Miami via Storyful
JACK ERDOZAIN: The first night we got here, there was a report that there was a five story condominium that had collapsed. And so to make it over the bridge, we had to remove a ton of debris. The engineers, we looked at the bridge to make sure it was safe still to pass, and then we came over.
We found that the building was still standing intact. There were some breakaway walls that had fallen, and apparently, the residents thought that that was a collapse. And-- but they were asking to get out. So then we provide a means to get them out off the island.
In this squad, we have two engineers, we have a doctor, and we have a heavy rigging person. And if they see something out of the ordinary that thinks that need to be addressed by one of us, then they'll call us and we'll go out there and look at the situation.
And the primary is more intense. We go to each unit in the building and call out see if there's anybody there, you know, see if anybody's sick. And, you know, even in the hasty, we look for people who are sick and we bring an ambulance to come pick them up and take them out.
Then there's the secondary, which is very intense search. It's just the final one that you do when you're done, when you're finishing up, just to make sure you didn't leave anybody behind.