Energy Sec. Granholm on Miami condo collapse: 'We don't know' if climate change was cause
Florida CFO: Response teams ‘doing everything they can’ to rescue survivors
Florida chief financial officer Jimmy Patronis discusses the state of the search and rescue efforts in Surfside, Florida.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm implied that climate change could have been a cause of the tragic residential building collapse in Surfside, Fla., last week.
Granholm was asked if climate change could have played a role in the building’s collapse during a CNN interview on Tuesday.
“Obviously, we don’t know fully, but we do know that the seas are rising. We know that we’re losing inches and inches of beaches, not just in Florida but all around,” Granholm said. “Michigan, where I’m from, we’ve seen the loss of beaches because the waters are rising, so this is a phenomenon that will continue.”
Granholm used the deadly building collapse, which left at least 11 people dead and 150 unaccounted for, to push for President Biden’s infrastructure package.
“We’ll have to wait to see what the analysis is for this building, but the issue about resiliency and making sure we adapt to this changing climate, that’s going to mean levees need to be built, sea walls need to be built, infrastructure needs to be built,” she said.
Crews work in the rubble of Champlain Towers South residential condo, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday’s fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
“There’s so much investment that we need to do protect ourselves from climate change but also to address it and mitigate it,” Granholm continued. “Hopefully these infrastructure bills, when taken together, will make a huge step and allow America to lead again.”
Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Surfside on Thursday to visit with the families of victims of the collapsed Miami-area condominium tower, the White House said.
Biden has offered federal help and extended his concerns to the community as people “grieve their lost loved ones and wait anxiously as search and rescue efforts continue,” as he said in one tweet.
“They want to thank the heroic first responders, search and rescue teams, and everyone who has been working tirelessly around the clock and meet with the families who have been forced to endure this terrible tragedy waiting in anguish and heartbreak for word of their loved ones,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
The slow work of sifting through the remnants of the collapsed building stretched into a sixth day Tuesday.
Two additional bodies were found Monday, raising the count of confirmed dead to 11. That leaves 150 people still unaccounted for in the community of Surfside. No one has been found alive since hours after the collapse Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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