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Florida condo collapse felt in Chattahoochee Valley

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:34 PM EDT
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - Penny Wagner says the last few days have consisted of lots of prayer and trying to remain hopeful that her cousin, Nehemiah Wagner, who lives in the area, is found alive and well after the condo collapse in South Florida.

According to reports, only ten people have been found and 151 are still unaccounted for. Wagner told News Leader 9 that it’s been some time since she last spoke to her cousin. When she first heard the news on television, she said she immediately began calling other relatives across the country when she couldn’t get Nehemiah on the phone.

“I was just shocked and then I thought about it. Oh my God, Nehemiah is down there. I just pray for the families in Surfside Florida, and pray for Nehemiah Wagner,” said Wagner. “I just hope that they find more bodies. I hope that they get them off the ground no matter what. It’s just a hope and I pray for all the people taking and risking their lives out there to save them. That’s a miracle.”

A Chattahoochee Valley developer, Clint Thomas, told News Leader 9 that he’s never seen a building go down like the condo in Florida, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. The official cause of why the condo collapsed hasn’t come out yet, but he said it could be a number of reasons if certain maintenance inspections weren’t met.

“Property maintenance and property management are big things. If you identify something, you need to get on it quickly, rather than later, because it could prove to be catastrophic, such as we’re seeing in Miami,” said Thomas.

Penny Wagner told News Leader 9 that it’s bittersweet someone is pulled from the rubble. On one hand, she’s glad to hear it’s not Nehemiah, but saddened to hear another person lost their life.

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