Cranes Atop High-Rises Collapse as Irma Lashes Miami

Posted September 11, 2017

Winds were howling Sunday morning in Miami as a crane from a 30-floor building partially collapsed due to the strong winds associated with Hurricane Irma.

The cranes were among two dozen such heavyweight hazards looming over the city skyline as the monster storm powered across the state.

Construction sites throughout the city were being locked down ahead of Irma. According to city officials, they can't be tied down or moved.

The first crane fell in a bay-front area filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near the AmericanAirlines Arena, where the NBA's Miami Heat play.

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Tower cranes can rise hundreds of feet into the air on steel frameworks, and are used to lift steel, concrete, heavy construction equipment and other building materials. They're engineered to withstand winds of 145 miles per hour - less than what Irma might bring if it hits as a category 4 or 5 storm.

The deputy director of Miami's building department, Maurice Pons, advised anyone living in a building next to a construction crane to leave.

The crane's arm is now dangling over a high-rise under construction in downtown Miami.

The issue, Alfonso said, is that the cranes take time to be dismantled, and the process also calls for blocking traffic on city streets.

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Abby Ape lives near where the crane collapsed in downtown Miami.

The boom of the crane snapped off and is now still connected to the tower, but is hanging off the side of the building.

"The luffing crane can not rotate like a weather vane", Whiteman said.

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