Waukesha condo collapse threat, drone video offers closer look

On Thursday, Dec. 9, owners at a Waukesha condo building are expected to have more time to move out. This, as just-released drone footage is offering the closest look yet at the problems that forced the evacuation.

Dozens of people were rushed out of their homes Thursday, Dec. 2 as officials warned the Horizon West condo homes were in danger of collapsing. New records from Waukesha show a long history of issues with the building.  That includes asbestos concerns brought up in October as well as lead paint found on the balconies.

The structural issues were known about by at least October, with one engineer saying in an email, "Oh my God, even worse than my last inspection."

He said it was "pretty obvious" the structural columns need to be replaced and in a worst-case scenario, it could have caused a cascading collapse starting with the top floor.

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On Dec. 2, the 65 residents living in the condos got a knock on the door and found signs reading, "This building is in a dangerous condition and shall be vacated by December 2, 2021."

Residents had less than an hour to take what they could and get out.

The condo board says it would have cost about $2 million to replace the balconies and asked for $40,000 from each homeowner to cover the cost. Most could not afford it, even after the board encouraged them to apply for loans.

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