Another Reason To Evacuate Downtown Miami: Construction Cranes

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As the city's first known crash, local news affiliate WSVN reports the crane snapped in half over a building under construction in downtown Miami, next to the federal prison in front of the courthouse.

The crane collapsed and fell into the top of a building under construction, said Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso.

"Streets have to be closed, another crane has to be brought in", he said.

About 25 cranes remained up before the storm approached South Florida.

Emergency personnel were unable to respond because of high winds, Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Mike Hernandez said.

Cooper declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma
The most recent briefing on Hurricane Irma was published by the National Weather Service at 5 p.m. Thursday and describes moderate-to-high confidence in impact for the central part of the state.

"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.

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

The boom of the crane collapsed at the Vice Tower in Miami, The Miami Herald reported.

"The luffing crane can not rotate like a weather vane", Whiteman said.

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. Gusts over 90 miles per hour (145 kph) were reported at Miami International Airport. He said videos of the collapse posted on social media showed a luffing crane, which lacks a horizontal arm and does not spin. Miami officials said Tuesday in a tweet.

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