Search Crews Work Through Rain, Gusty Wind To Find Survivors, Victims – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Search parties at the Champlain Towers South collapse site worked all night as they dealt with the rainbows and gusty winds of tropical Storm Elsa.

At least 80 members of the search and rescue team are working on the pile at all times, rotating in 12-hour shifts.

CONTINUE READING: “Don’t focus on the cone”: Governor DeSantis said Elsa’s heavy rain, gusty winds east of the center

On Tuesday morning, the weather worries remained. The search is temporarily interrupted in the event of thunder and lightning.

“They are continuing their mission to find the collapsed area,” says Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “They have been working under this great difficulty and they have shifted shifts because they want so much to be outside looking. The first responders are the most frustrated with all of the delays we have. You live to save life. “

Officials announced Monday night that the death toll had risen to 28 after four more victims were recovered. Of these, 26 were identified.

The number of missing people is now 117.

The search area was expanded on Monday after the remaining standing building was demolished on Sunday night.

A CBS4 News camera was aboard a boat just offshore capturing the remains of the collapsing Champlain Tower South.

WATCH: Remnant of the collapsed Surfside condo demolished

Officials said it was unsafe to leave, especially given concerns about tropical storm Elsa.

“We now have access to all networks,” explains Alan Cominsky, chief of the Miami-Dade fire department. He says they are able to use more heavy machinery and access points that were previously banned.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said Monday night the bailouts were at 100 percent capacity.

CONTINUE READING: Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to intensify, bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to Florida Keys, Miami-Dade

“The impending danger of this building, the dangerous situation in which debris could fall, has been removed,” he said.

Although it is safer now and the storm is less threatening, the work is no less arduous.

“A lot of things have to be tipped over by hand, so these guys use little shovels, but you have to be careful because we don’t know what’s underneath,” explained Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius “Iggy” Carroll.

GALLERY: Demolition of the remaining collapsed condominium on Surfside

An empty space in the skyline, where the condominium once stood, makes for a harrowing sight.

“It’s just the worst nightmare you can go through,” said Devin, looking at the memorial wall in front of the former Champlain Towers South building.

Even in the rain, he and his wife Marilyn and others stopped by Monday to pay tribute.

“I just felt in my heart that I had to come down and show my respect,” says Marilyn. “Even if I don’t know the victims, that’s something you don’t want to happen to your family.”

Levine Cava said Monday they had raised millions of dollars to help the affected families.

“We have raised millions of dollars thanks to the generosity of the people in this country and around the world. Your generosity was overwhelming. It will be very, very important to put this money in the hands of these families to help them rebuild and meet their unmet needs. You have already received this help, ”she said.

Neighbors 4 Neighbors set up a fund to help families affected by collapse and feed first responders. To contribute, call Neighbors 4 Neighbors at (305) 597-4404 or go to

MORE NEWS: Tropical Storm Elsa drenched the Florida Keys

Harding Avenue has been reopened to north and south traffic. Traffic going north on Collins Avenue will be diverted from 83rd through 90th Streets to Harding. Collins Avenue from 83rd through 90th Streets will remain closed.

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