MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The recovery effort has been nonstop at the site of the Champlain Towers South collapse and there was more grim news Monday morning.
“Through search and recovery, we have confirmed additional victims. The number of confirmed deaths is now 94. Eighty-three of these victims have been identified and 80 next of kin notified. Please join me in continuing to pray for those we have lost, the families who are grieving, and those who are still waiting.” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Monday morning.READ MORE: FHP Confirms Fatality After Tanker Truck That Drove Off Highway In Davie Catches Fire
“I want to stress that the police and the medical examiner teams are continuing their around-the-clock work to identify victims. However, the process of making identifications has become more difficult as time goes on. The recovery at this point is yielding human remains. At this step in the recovery process, we must rely heavily on the work of the medical examiner’s office. They’re undertaking technical and scientific processes to identify the human remains. The process is very methodical and careful and it does take time,” she added.
The mayor said crews had to stop their efforts several times due to lightning. The weather has the potential to impact work at the site for the rest of the week.
WATCH: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Update On The Surfside Collapse Search
Twenty-two people are potentially unaccounted for.
Neighbors 4 Neighbors has established a fund to assist families impacted by the collapse as well as help feed first responders. To contribute, call Neighbors 4 Neighbors at (305) 597-4404 or go to neighbors4neighbors.org/surfsidefund.
Levine Cava said the Family Assistance Center at the site has served 207 families.
A website has been set up for those impacted by the collapse seeking assistance who have unmet needs. That website is SurfsideAssistance.com.
“It contains all of the state and federal and other sources so that it’s a one-stop-shop for them to get the help they need. This includes grief counseling, mental health services, financial support, and many others. We know that they are going to continue to need our support in the days, weeks, and months ahead. We are here for them to provide all the resources that we can,” said Levine Cava.READ MORE: ‘Get The Shot Today': Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Urging Vaccinations As Florida COVID Cases Skyrocket
Levine Cava said the Small Business Administration, through their outreach and work, has already received 72 applications. Forty-three of those are business applications, 29 are homeowners and renters.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said they are having discussions on what to do with the site, given that so many people lost their lives.
“Most importantly, we’re trying to understand what the families are wanting to do with the site. So that’s something very important. To that end, given it is a very, very sort of holy site at this point, because we’ve lost so many lives, we’re going to be tightening the security around that site. It’s only going to be authorized personnel that will be allowed near that site. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Burkett said search crews are taking the utmost care with items recovered from the site.
“So carefully, in fact, that when they found a business card in the debris that listed the occupation of the cardholder as an artist, they, as a result of that clue, began looking around and found paintings in the area, which they were able to pull out of the rubble and preserve for the family. This type of professionalism and compassion is emblematic of the amazing work that is being done at the site,” said Burkett.
WATCH: Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett’s Remarks About Collapse Site
Over the weekend, it was announced that a number of search teams were told to stand down.
The team from Israel has already left and several other teams will soon demobilize.
“We’re making significant progress, we are recognizing that we’re able to scale down some of those local resources that have been helping us,” said Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll.
Burkett said the debris as the site has been “dramatically” reduced.MORE NEWS: Miami PD Searching For Hit-&-Run Driver Who Struck Motorcyclist
“The work overnight was halted several times for bad weather, but the site and the debris pile compared to yesterday is nonetheless dramatically further reduced. In several locations of the pile, we are down to the parking area. As a result, we’re pulling out a good number of vehicles. Those vehicles are mostly terribly damaged, evidencing the violence of the collapse in those areas. The search continues until everyone trapped in the debris is pulled out,” he said.