After a lifetime of watching movies about the romance of living next to the ocean, I once spent 2 years in Florida. My memories of Florida are somewhat different than those of Johnnie Mathis. It was more like living in a front load washer than a romantic walk alone on a pristine beach silent except for the soft lapping of waves against one’s feet. In addition to monsoon rains and unrelenting hurricanes, the beach is inflicted with sand fleas, scourges of seaweed, jellyfish, and automated skeletons covered with wrinkled and unnaturally brown skin. Memories of Florida.
The tropical climate nourishes an incredible number of insects and reptiles that pervade all buildings and gardens. Trees and plants grow so rapidly, it is easy to feel that they will engulf you if you look away too long.
Once-fabulous ocean-front buildings collapsing is just one of the many wonders of oceanside living. And climate change.
Just after 1 a.m. Thursday, a sudden, unexpected, and devastating structural failure occurred in Surfside, Florida, when a large section of a 12-story condominium building collapsed. A short distance from the shore north of Miami Beach, the Champlain Towers South Condo’s southeast corner simply fell, bringing 55 of the building’s 136 units to the ground in seconds. Security camera footage from a nearby building shows the structure falling straight down, in two separate chunks, as if the ground underneath had slipped away.