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'I'm Hopeful That We'll Find People Alive Under All This Rubble' Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett On Condo Collapse Search & Rescue

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - As heavy machinery begins to clear away debris at the site of a collapsed building at Champlain Towers South in Surfside, the town's mayor is hopeful that some who had been in the building survived.

"I'm hopeful that we'll find people alive under all this rubble and that's what we're going to do. We owe it to the families. We're going to apply the resources that we have. We have no limit on resources, so we're really good there. We just have to get those resources there and continue to work and we're doing that," said Mayor Charles Burkett.

"We are absolutely hopeful," he added. "We've got families that are depending on us. That's why we're here, 24 hours a day, we're non-stop. All of us aren't getting much sleep, but that's not the point. The point is, we've got to pull as many people out of that pile of rubble as we can."

Burkett said the weather has not made things easy for search and rescue teams.

"It's challenging. It's challenging. You know we don't lack for resources. We've got support from the White House, our two U.S. Senators, our Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we've got support from our county mayor, we've got unlimited resources here at the site. What we don't have is unlimited luck. What we need is a little more luck," he said.

So what is he hoping for?

"We need some sunshine. Because we've got the waves of crews that are ready to get on that debris pile and pull people out if they can. But you know the wind, the rain, we've got a fire that we're dealing with that's recurring, it's painful because that fire slows things down," said Burkett.

He added if people want to help, there are some do's and don'ts.

"I'll tell you what they shouldn't do right now is send goods to our town hall. We have exploded with goods. We don't have a resource problem, we have a luck problem. The resources that we have from the country, the state, the federal government, FEMA, are astounding. And what we've been getting from the public, it's astounding. So we just have to apply what we have now, and that's what we're doing.

So what can people do if they want to help?

"Pray. Pray for us. That's what we need. Pray for the first responders, pray for the search and rescue guys, pray that we get a break from the weather. Pray that we pull more people out of there alive."

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