Tower Crane Spins As Irma Outer Bands Hit Miami

As Irma’s outer bands barreled into South Florida Saturday, a high-rise hazard materialized in Downtown Miami.

At least one of the two dozen tower cranes standing tall at construction sites was seen spinning as winds picked up late afternoon. The construction sites had been locked down several days ahead of Irma, but the cranes were not removed. 

An evacuation order was issued for the area where the cranes are. However, days before the evacuation order, City of Miami officials warned residents who live next to a construction crane to evacuate their homes to avoid putting their lives at risk. 

The cranes are designed to withstand winds up to 145 miles per hour. As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Irma had 125 mph winds but was expected to strengthen to a category 4 hurricane with winds from 130-155 mph. 

Officials said the counterbalance of the cranes’ arms are very heavy and can cause severe damage if the cranes collapse.