Tower Crane Spins As Irma Outer Bands Hit Miami

Image credit Shutterstock  The Huffington Post

Days before the evacuation order, City of Miami officials warned residents who live next to the construction cranes to evacuate to avoid putting their lives at risk.

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.

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 answer - it's a slow process that can take about TWO weeks and there is NOT enough time", they said. They're engineered to withstand winds of 145 miles per hour - less than what Irma might bring if it hits as a category 4 or 5 storm. The building was still in tact despite the crane's failure.

The boom of the crane collapsed at the Vice Tower in Miami, The Miami Herald reported. "We will have a crew over to secure the crane as soon as the weather permits". He said videos of the collapse posted on social media showed a luffing crane, which lacks a horizontal arm and does not spin. 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".

Alfonso said city officials contacted the management of nearby residential buildings and called residents there by using a reverse 911 system to urge them to stay away from their windows in case shards of the cranes are picked up by the wind.

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