Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

Massive crane atop Miami high-rise collapses in Irma's winds

Massive crane atop Miami high-rise collapses in Irma's winds

Winds were howling Sunday morning in Miami as a crane from a 30-floor building partially collapsed due to the strong winds associated with Hurricane Irma.

City Manager Daniel Alfonso said in both cases, the most risky part of the crane - the heavy counter-balance that keeps the cranes balanced - fell straight into the construction sites.

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

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No injuries have been reported.

The images of a crane toppled over a high rise flooded social media as Irma landed on the southern tip of Florida's coast September 10.

The issue, Alfonso said, is that the cranes take time to be dismantled, and the process also calls for blocking traffic on city streets.

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Emergency personnel were unable to respond because of high winds, Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Mike Hernandez said. "Taking them is not something you can easily do". The building was still in tact despite the crane's failure. "We will have a crew over to secure the crane as soon as the weather permits". As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Irma had 125 miles per hour winds but was expected to strengthen to a category 4 hurricane with winds from 130-155 miles per hour.

Social media posts showed areas of downtown completely under water, with main roads resembling white-water rivers. 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".

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Most of Florida will not be spared as Irma tracks northward through the Florida peninsula, essentially paralleling Interstate 75. We are drier, with still a fair amount of clouds Thursday , and readings remaining below average in the lower 70s.

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