Hurricane Irma update
As most of you know we were hit with a hurricane late Sunday night and into yesterday morning. We were not able to open the office Monday due to statewide curfews which were in effect on Sunday until Monday at 6pm. Today we were all back at work despite there being no electricity, no phones, and no internet. Most employees also had no cell phone service and damage at their own homes they had to leave behind.
I am happy to report that after a desperate call to Commissioner Tony Ortiz today, he made sure our power was restored this afternoon. However this also means that power was out for almost 48 hours. To anyone who left anything in their fridge or freezer, or anyone who leaves ice in their freezer, it will need to be cleaned out and all food disposed of. The power outage also means that all of the timers went off. We are aware of this issue and will have it resolved within 48 hours. In the meantime the building lights may not be going off or coming on at the proper times until Thursday. The power outage also means the pools have not been filtered for two days, they also are full of debris from the storm. The pools may also be closed for another 48 hours while the debris is removed, chemicals are added, pools are cleaned, and water is filtered. We have already had people try to break into the pool, and mess with the heater on the pool. These types of actions will not be tolerated and will be reported to the police. We understand it’s hot and people want to use the pool, but the pools are not safe to use at this time. To those of you who here a beeping noise coming from the meter room in your building, this is a warning signal for the fire alarms to let us know power was out. This will be fixed within the next 48 hours. The washers and dryers in the laundry rooms are also on timers any may not be operating during the proper hours for the next 48 hours.
Commissioner Tony Ortiz has promised to help me with landscaping debris removal. However it all has to be piled up in one location by Monday for pickup. We will be piling it in the carwash area due to the amount of space needed and to keep it out of everyone’s way. This may mean the car wash area will not be able to be used until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. We are aware that there are limbs, leaves and other landscaping debris all over property, we are working as fast as we can to remove it all before Monday. Luckily no trees fell on cars but a few car covers were destroyed in the storm.
As far as damage to the buildings, we lost more than 50 percent of the shingles on every building. Most of the white metal flashing on the tops of each building was either severely damaged or destroyed. We also lost many pieces of siding on each building. Many gutters, downspouts and drains were ripped off the building. Most of these items are now unrepairable, some suffered original damage during our last hurricane in 2004 and can no longer be saved. Due to this damage there WILL be extensive roof leaks in EVERY building. We are working with our insurance company to determine what the best route will be to deal with this. As you can imagine finding contractors right now is no easy task. The entire state was damaged by this storm. I do not want to sugarcoat or downplay any of this, if you have a unit upstairs, there is more than a 50 percent chance you either already have a roof leak, or will have one the next time it rains. We are forecasted to have rain this Friday. I cannot go into all 224 upstairs units. If your unit is occupied, please contact your tenant or rental company to find out if you have leaks. If your unit is unoccupied, you need to have someone check your unit. Please report all leaks to the office, but understand there are 32 buildings that are going to have leaks. This will take months to fix. Finding contractors and materials after a natural disaster is near impossible. Many contractors and companies are still without phones, electric, and internet, just contacting them is a task. Plus before any repairs are made we will need to go through the permitting process with the City. To those who keep asking, NO there is no way to tarp the roofs. The roofs are over 22,000 square feet each and the AC condensers are on the roof. To those who have interior damage due to leaks, you must contact YOUR insurance company. Southpointe will be repairing the roofs and any interior drywall, ceilings (excluding paint). Anything beyond the drywall and ceiling is covered on your homeowner’s policy (including: paint, flooring, furniture and any other contents in the unit) and must be reported to them. If you have tenants and THEIR items were destroyed due to a roof leak, they are supposed to have renter’s insurance to cover their losses. This is why we have always stressed the importance of having insurance. There are some units that had exterior storm damage, but not many. Some lost window screens, patio screens etc. I will be contacting those owners individually this week.
If anyone needs to contact me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I am able to get emails on my cell phone. Our phone lines and voicemail and fax line at the office are down and we do not know when the will be restored. The emergency number is only working 50 % of the time until cell phone service in the area is fully restored. We are working as quickly as we can to put Southpointe back together but it is going to take a lot of time, patience and work. We need everyone to do their part. If you have a leak, we suggest you do what you can to minimize your damages for now. You may need to be ready with buckets, plastic covering, etc. IT IS GOING TO RAIN BY THE END OF THE WEEK, 32 BUILDINGS WILL NOT BE FIXED BY THEN. Report any leaks to the office and we will get to you asap. We have already had several angry residents surface, including residents demanding roof repairs DURING the actual hurricane. We understand your frustration and sympathize with your situations, however we have 448 units in Southpointe and we cannot perform miracles overnight. Buildings will be repaired in order of priority, and priority meaning the worst buildings will be repaired first. Harassing and threatening the staff will not help matters and will be tolerated. Thank you all in advance for your support, cooperation and patience, and thank you to everyone who followed our posted instructions before the storm arrived. It is going to be a long road, but it is a road we have been down several times in the past. Everything is going to eventually be fine, and we certainly do not want to cause any stress for anyone. I wanted to post this notice so that I could reach the most people all at once and give everyone a realistic view of what we are facing here. Please excuse any delayed responses from the office. We are prioritizing issues and we have no means of communication right now.
China Benson, LCAM
Southpointe Condominium Association