Crane collapses in Miami from Hurricane Irma winds

Casey Dawson
September 11, 2017

Apparently, the cranes are built to withstand winds up to 145 miles per hour, and while the weather experts in the U.S. have been tracking Irma for over a week, there was no confident way of predicting the direction it might head in.

City manager Daniel Alfonso says officials knew Irma could be a serious threat with about a week's notice, and that wasn't enough time to take all the cranes down.

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

Moving the cranes would have taken two weeks, city officials said.

The horizontal arms of the tall tower cranes, however, will remain loose despite the potential danger of collapse.

Many are questioning why the cranes can't be moved, Miami officials said Tuesday in a tweet.

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Vice Chairman of Coastal Construction Dan Whiteman said he has 12 cranes in the Miami area, which are created to spin like weather vanes to ensure stability, according to an Associated Press report. The bayfront area is filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near AmericanAirlines Arena.

Abby Ape's 14th-floor apartment has a view of the toppled crane.

"We're telling people that if you live by a construction site you should evacuate", said Alyce Robertson, executive director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority.

The cranes were thought to be able to withstand the direct hit of a Category 4 hurricane, however, Irma's winds in Miami are just at the Category 1 level.

"Our cranes are still weather vane-ing", Whiteman said.

"This is a life-threatening situation", the National Hurricane Center said.

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