After Hurricane Nicole, Condo Owners Grapple With Living Beachside

David Haber, a lawyer specializing in condominium litigation, said that he anticipated those involved in rebuilding would be extremely careful. After the collapse of Champlain Towers, he said, “they are going to bend over backward now to be extra cautious.”

Nanette McKeel Petrella, who owns three units in one of the evacuated buildings, Castaways Beach Resort, said she expected costs to rise. Part of the building’s pool deck had collapsed, with fissures running up and down what remained. Parts of the sea wall had also crumbled.

Ms. McKeel Petrella, 66, is on the building’s board of directors and expected the board would raise fees to make the required fixes. “It’s the reality,” she said.

She said she was less concerned for herself than she was for elderly and disabled residents. “I don’t know what they’ll be able to afford, if they have to do assessments or raise the condo dues,” she said.

The battles had already started.

On Friday afternoon, a handful of Castaways residents sat in the lobby of the building, angry and frustrated over the orders of local police to evacuate from the building, which they perceived to be fine.

One man ripped down a sign in anger. Another, Michael Riviera, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a mobility scooter, said he couldn’t get back into his fifth-floor apartment, because the elevator was out of service. He said he had spent the previous night in a hotel, and had paid $134. Now, he needed to get his belongings and medical supplies.

“Got to go up the steps,” Mr. Riviera said. “I’ll probably sit on my butt and go up backward.”

Robert Longmire, 66, who owns two units, described the building as “perfectly functioning.” He added, “Now they’ve turned off the hot water. They’re trying to make it miserable for the tenants that do not want to leave.”

Quoted from Various Sources

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