MIAMI- At least two cranes collapsed in Miami on Sunday as Hurricane Irma lashed South Florida with 120mph winds and heavy rain, threatening a city where massive construction cranes dot the skyline.
A tower crane collapsed onto a high-rise building under construction in downtown Miami, the city said in a tweet Sunday morning.
“AVOID THE AREA!!” the city warned in the tweet.
The city said anyone in buildings in the area facing the crane should “seek shelter” in the opposite side of the building or in a stairwell.
A second crane collapsed later Sunday and was dangling from an unfinished high rise on Northeast 30th Terrace, reported NBC Miami.
There are about 20 to 25 cranes still up across the city, according to city officials.
“These tower cranes are designed to withstand winds up to 145 miles per hour, not a Category 5 Hurricane,” the city said in a statement last week.
The cranes’ arms had to remain loose and could not be tied down, said Maurice Pons, deputy director of the building department, in the statement.
Construction sites throughout the city were on lock-down leading up the storm.”The arm’s counterbalance is very heavy and poses a potential danger if the crane collapses,” he said.
Irma made landfall on Sunday morning over Cudjoe Key at 9:10a.m., the National Hurricane Center reported.
“Life-threatening storm surge is occurring now in the Keys and is expected to begin this morning in Southwest Florida,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted early Sunday.