Miami construction cranes could be in Irma path

11 September, 2017, 00:49 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Construction cranes collapse in downtown Miami

South Florida officials are expanding evacuation orders as Hurricane Irma approaches, telling more than a half-million people to seek safety inland.

During that time, a resident said he heard a loud boom and looked out of the apartment to see the crane falling.

There are about 20 to 25 construction cranes in the city, according to city officials.

"It takes five to six days per crane, and they can be up to 900 feet tall and include 10,000-pound counterweights", WLRN reports.

There was a concern the cranes could collapse. The bayfront area is filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near AmericanAirlines Arena.


Emergency personnel were unable to respond because of high winds, Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Mike Hernandez said.

"All possible preparations and precautions were taken, but we believe that a micro-tornado struck this area, compromising the crane".

Abby Ape lives near where the crane collapsed in downtown Miami. The tower cranes with a boom on top are created to spin like weather vanes, so they should be stable if Irma strikes, Whiteman said.

"Our cranes are still weather vane-ing", Whiteman said. Miami-Dade and Broward counties issued those orders starting Thursday for barrier islands and low-lying mainland areas in the metro area of 6 million people, where forecasters predict the hurricane with winds of 180 miles per hour (290 kph) could strike by early Sunday.

"Hurricane winds are blowing in one direction but a tornado could twist things, and nothing can be created to withstand the tornado effect", Whiteman said.

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