Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Cranes Atop High-Rises Collapse as Irma Lashes Miami

Cranes Atop High-Rises Collapse as Irma Lashes Miami

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.

Irma is forecast to make landfall in southern Florida early Sunday and pass west of Miami, with sustained winds at or above 145 mph; its hurricane-force winds extend up to 70 miles from its center. 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.

As the city of Miami said in its news release about the risk, "The crane's arm has to remain loose; it is not tied down". There are about 20 to 25 construction cranes in the city, according to city officials. At the time, the National Weather Service says, Andrew was the costliest hurricane in US history with damages of $26.5 billion in 1992 dollars - or about $50 billion in current dollars. "So our only concern right now is the protection of life, not necessarily property", he said.

"This is a hurricane that I've never seen before, so we are preparing here", Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said today in an interview with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America".

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David asked Schofer how safe high-rise buildings might be from Irma. The site has multiple towers in the Gran Paraiso by the Bay development, Alfonso said.

Many are questioning why the cranes can't be moved, Miami officials said Tuesday in a tweet.

"It takes five to six days per crane, and they can be up to 900 feet tall and include 10,000-pound counterweights", WLRN reports. "You have to call the company ahead of time".

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