Crane collapses in Miami due to hurricane winds

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One of two dozen construction cranes looming over the skyline in downtown Miami collapsed atop a high-rise in Irma's winds.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other officials have been warning citizens that Irma could be the storm of the century - a hurricane with every bit the destructive capacity as Hurricane Andrew in 1992. At one time, Irma was sustaining wind speeds of up to 185 miles per hour, but those gusts slowed as the massive storm bowled over smaller islands in the Caribbeans.

Authorities expressed concern earlier in the week as 25 cranes still stood in Miami during Irma.

Two collapsed in Miami Sunday, while a third crane snapped in Fort Lauderdale. "Consider that the counterbalances on tower cranes weigh about 20,000 to 30,000 pounds".

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.

A crane in downtown Miami, Fla. destroyed by strong winds from Hurricane Irma. The building was still in tact despite the crane's failure. "The winds are so strong that it's not known what will happen".

Streets became rivers as Hurricane Irma brought storm surges.

Gideon J. Apé @djdrolive via CNN NEWSOURCE
Gideon J. Apé @djdrolive via CNN NEWSOURCE

Tania Leets, a spokeswoman for the public health system which serves Miami-Dade County, said they offered the same service previous year during Hurricane Matthew. 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. Getting back would be as hard as getting out, she said, since USA 1 is the island chain's only link to the mainland. "It will be done by wind-blown debris".

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

MIAMI | homeless people of Miami feel abandoned because they were not able to find shelter prior to the arrival of hurricane Irma and must now face the storm in the street. The tweet concludes: "Actually it's insulation from a high rise under construction".

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

The bank said today the decision was made for the safety of its employees and customers based on the severity of storm forecasts.

Boak reported from Washington, D.C.

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