Crane Collapses As Hurricane Irma Hits Downtown Miami

Crane Collapses As Hurricane Irma Hits Downtown Miami

Crane Collapses As Hurricane Irma Hits Downtown Miami

If evacuation orders for parts of downtown Miami aren't enough of an incentive to leave, city officials are also telling people to leave downtown high-rises because of construction cranes.

Though 110 miles (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.

"The crane structure can collapse", said Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso earlier this week.

"Streets have to be closed, another crane has to be brought in", he said.

Moving the cranes would have taken two weeks, city officials said. The bayfront area is filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near AmericanAirlines Arena.

"AVOID THE AREA!" the city's tweet said.

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The National Hurricane Center said winds "affecting the upper floors of high-rise buildings will be significantly stronger than those near ground level".

Hurricane Irma's powerful winds forced one crane in downtown Miami to snap in half Sunday morning.

More than two dozen cranes hang over residents' heads with horizontal arms of the tall tower devices hanging loose as they could not be tied down or moved in preparation for Irma.

According to the resident, the crane is on top of the PMG building that is now under construction.

"If we get a direct hit, the widespread damage is not going to be done by a crane failure", Whiteman said.

The major exception, Whiteman said, is if a tornado forms, which "virtually nothing" would be able to withstand.

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