Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Construction Cranes in Miami Become Multi-Ton Threats During Irma

Construction Cranes in Miami Become Multi-Ton Threats During Irma

Two collapsed in Miami Sunday, while a third crane snapped in Fort Lauderdale.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the collapse caused any injuries.

"Hotels or motels in 168 $, you can't afford it", let go of one of them.

Construction sites across Irma's potential path in Florida are being locked down to remove or secure building materials, tools and debris that could become flying missiles in hurricane winds.

"The crane industry opposed it", said Audrey Edmonson, the Miami-Dade County commissioner sponsored the rule.

Soon after one of the cranes collapsed, the chief executive of the company developing the building told Reuters he was attending the U.S. Open tennis tournament in NY when the accident occurred and had just learned about it.

Some two dozen other cranes in the city remained upright.

A collapsed construction crane seen in downtown Miami
A collapsed construction crane seen in downtown Miami

The National Hurricane Centre said Irma's winds were at 177 km/h, just below major hurricane status, as the centre of the still unsafe and wide storm moved farther inland late today. Said Castor: "I'm not saying you should ignore it, but it's gotta get closer for me to decide".

Though 180 kilometres from Irma's landfall in the Florida Keys, hurricane-force winds from the 400-mile-wide storm were being felt through the Miami area. Gusts over 90 miles per hour (145 kph) were reported at Miami International Airport.

The City of Miami tweeted that people in a building facing the crane should try to take shelter on "the opposite side" of the building or in a stairwell.

And because those cranes weren't created to withstand a storm of Irma's ferocity, city officials are telling people who live in the shadows of the giant lifting devices to leave. "Consider that the counterbalances on tower cranes weigh about 20,000 to 30,000 pounds".

The strongest rain bands from the hurricane were expected to come into Miami's metro area from around 10 noon on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

The horizontal arms of some cranes were left loose to spin in the winds.

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