The Show Will Go On As Arsht Center Dries Out From Flood
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Cleanup continues Monday, one day after theatergoers who attended a sold-out performance of The Lion King at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami were forced to evacuate when water flowing from the ceiling began to flood the lobby.
Scott Shiller, Executive Vice President of Operations for the Adrienne Arsht Center, said flash flooding caused a drain line to leak and the lobby and other areas of the center to flood with water.
Crews have brought in massive dehumidifiers to dry out of the remaining wetness left over from the flooding that began during Sunday night’s performance.
“The top floor you see some of the water coming inside of the atrium itself,” said Richard Trujillo, who attended the show with his wife.
The second half of the show had just started when suddenly the house lights came on and staffers told the crowd they had to evacuate due to water coming into the building.
“I think about five minutes later is when we had got the alarms and that’s when they stopped the show and they informed us that there was a big storm going outside and that the lobby had flooded,” explained Trujillo.
Staff members guided more than 2,000 people out of the building through side doors and not the main lobby where the floor was flooded.
“The rug has to be ruined, it has to be, cause it was soaked to the core with water,” said audience member Gaby Lopez. “The floor was soaked with water, just rain drops coming down like streams of water coming through the light fixtures. It was actually kinda scary to see that.”
Patrons said the evacuation was orderly and courteous.
Lopez said it took her an hour and a half to get out during the evacuation.
“This building is less than like 6 or 7 years old and it’s leaking puddles of water…I was in shock, complete shock,” Lopez said.
Most left disappointed they didn’t get to see the entire show.
“I just feel sad that we were unable to see the whole show but hopefully we will be coming back and see the whole thing,” said Grace Castillo, an audience member.
As the last few people trickled out of the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House at Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 13th Street, buckets dotted the lobby’s floor and water dripped from light fixtures.
The Arsht center issued this statement on the situation late Monday afternoon:
Cleanup efforts are progressing as planned at the Ziff Ballet Opera House following Sunday night’s drain line leak. The building is safe for patrons and Tuesday evening’s 8 pm performance of The Lion King will be presented as scheduled. Additional tickets for performances through June 10, including Tuesday evening’s show, are now available at www.arshtcenter.org. On behalf of the Adrienne Arsht Center, I would like to thank the partners and institutions who offered assistance during the cleanup efforts today.
Patrons of the Sunday May 20 evening show are encouraged to call their original point of purchase or the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office at (786) 468-2337 to exchange tickets for a future performance of The Lion King.