Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Cranes Atop High-Rises Collapse as Irma Lashes Miami

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Lillian Steele | 11 September, 2017, 00:49

A Florida man riding out Hurricane Irma in a nearby high-rise caught images of a massive construction crane that's collapsed.

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

Although Irma's eye was almost 100 miles from the Miami area, hurricane-force wind gusts battered the area on Sunday.

According to reports from city officials, the crane fell on Biscayne Boulevard, located in the heart of downtown Miami.

Gideon J. Apé, who took the photo below, told CNN that he heard "a crack, and then a boom".

"The arm's counterbalance is very heavy and poses a potential danger if the crane collapses". Although Miami will miss the worst of Irma's top winds of 130 miles per hour, the Miami has seen gusts of up to 100 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center said winds hitting upper floors of high-rise buildings are significantly stronger than near ground level.

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.

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

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 same videos showed his tower cranes spinning in the background.

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

Only a few contractors are certified to remove those cranes, he said.

A tornado could have ripped the crane loose, Whiteman said.

"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.

Miami Heat officials said some of the arena's exterior paneling was damaged, but there was no structural damage.

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