Crane collapses in Miami from Hurricane Irma winds

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

The cranes were thought to be able to withstand the direct hit of a Category 4 hurricane; however, Irma's winds in Miami are just at the Category 1 level.

Maurice Pons, deputy director of the Miami building department, warned last week that roughly two dozen cranes were a serious threat to residents living next door.

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

In addition to the misdemeanor charge, which carries up to 60 days in jail, some of those busted could face drunken-driving and drug-possession charges, officials said.

In nearby Clay County, crews pulled at least 46 people from flooded homes, and still more were stranded, said emergency operations manager Joe Ward. She handled everything from delivering the placenta to cutting the umbilical cord on her own.

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

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Alfonso said there were no reported injuries or deaths so far from the storm.

A crane at a downtown Miami, Fla., apartment building reportedly snapped Sunday as Hurricane Irma made landfall in the state. "But for the grace of God, that (collapse) could be me". When Irma finally arrived, it shifted to the east. Buckhorn said he "realized that the gods were smiling" on the city when dawn broke.

Tower cranes can rise hundreds of feet into the air on steel frameworks, and are used to lift steel, concrete, heavy construction equipment and other building materials.

In the first case, which happened Sunday morning, the arm of the crane also collapsed, falling onto the top level of the building.

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

A tornado could have ripped the crane loose, Whiteman said. Parts of the American Airlines Arena, home to the NBA's the Miami Heat, have experienced some exterior damages.

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