A woman called her husband just moments before tragedy struck to say she saw a sinkhole where the pool should have been. Then the line went dead.
“It was 1:30 a.m., I’ll never, never forget that,” said Mike Stratton, husband of Cassie Stratton who is still considered missing.
The 40-year-old model, actress, and Pilates instructor woke her husband in Washington, D.C., with a phone call and frantically told him that the entire building was shaking and told him about the sinkhole.
According to The Washington Post, Stratton was on the balcony of her 4th-floor residence when she felt a trembling and witnessed the pool deck cave in.
Structural engineer, Jason Borden said that if the pool deck or structural plate closest to the building failed or was jeopardized, “it could have contributed to the end result.”
“I saw cracks and deterioration of the garage and plaza level but those are all things that we are accustomed to seeing and that’s why our job exists – to maintain and repair the buildings,” said Borden.
“They had done the full investigation that we were proposing to do,” he added.”They went through and detailed very thoroughly exactly what was wrong with the building, again, is very typical of what we see in buildings of this age in this condition.”
Borden is confident in the structural integrity of Champlain Towers North and East.
“You know they are maintaining their buildings. Personally, I am confident in the stability of those buildings because I’ve been closely involved with Champlain Towers East,” Borden said.
Mike Stratton remembers the last time he saw his wife on June 21 before leaving on a business trip to DC.
“She was the most fun, vivacious person you could ever imagine,” he said, his voice breaking with emotion. “She was full of life, we were always doing something. There are so many interesting places to go in Miami and we took it all in.”