MIAMI, Okla. — The City of Miami, Oklahoma issued a public safety message on Wednesday, calling for the immediate evacuation of Miami Towers.
Miami Emergency Management says the order comes after the building's structural integrity came under review by a structural engineer who presented its "significant issues" to the city.
"During the meeting, the structural engineer disclosed significant issues concerning the integrity of the 107-year-old building’s support columns - primarily the west/northwest corners of the structure, impacting the building’s fire escape route."
All residents and businesses are ordered to evacuate the structure by 12 p.m. on Thursday.
“Nobody wants to displace 40 residents, but we do have to ensure the safety of our community," Miami Emergency Management Director Thomas Anderson said.
“We are getting kicked out without really a lot of notice," Miami Towers resident Rielly Timi said.
The structural engineer said no attached facilities/businesses or First Street are threatened by the issues within the Miami Towers located at 41 North Main.
The city plans to have the surrounding area near the building blocked off.
Concerns over the building's safety came earlier this summer when the Miami Housing Authority brought in architects for a rehabilitation project and reported the issues.
The city has offered help to the Miami Housing Authority in relocating those who evacuated.
Timi, who has lived in Miami Towers for nearly four years, is being placed in a suitable apartment unit, but he is one of the lucky ones, so far.
"It works out, but not for everyone, because there are some people that are moving into hotels until they find a place for them. Some people don’t even have a hotel to go to. Some people are just going to have to be on the street," he said.
Residents or business owners with questions about evacuation information or needs should contact Mark McDowell, Miami Housing Authority manager at 918-257-2606 or email.
Any questions about the emergency proclamation can go to Anderson at 918-541-0495 or email.
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