Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Hurricane Irma leaves Miami looking like you've never seen it before

Hurricane Irma leaves Miami looking like you've never seen it before

While southwest Florida bore the deadly brunt of Irma's wrath Sunday, the coastlines of Miami and the neighboring island of Miami Beach were heavily inundated by storm surges as hurricane winds sent two giant construction cranes crashing down.

The National Hurricane Center said winds hitting upper floors of high-rise buildings are significantly stronger than near ground level.

In Fort Lauderdale, a third crane collapsed at Auberge Beach Residences and Spa on North Ocean Boulevard around 5 p.m. Sunday. "Consider that the counterbalances on tower cranes weigh about 20,000 to 30,000 pounds".

In nearby Clay County, crews pulled at least 46 people from flooded homes, and still more were stranded, said emergency operations manager Joe Ward. The call from the woman in labor was not one of them.

Irma packed 100-mph winds, which caused several buildings downtown - as well as the aforementioned construction cranes - to sway dangerously.

The city and surrounding areas were under a tornado watch September 10.

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After the collapse, the boom was partly dangling on the side of the building, attached to the crane tower by a cable, photos on Twitter showed. "But for the grace of God, that (collapse) could be me".

The city had advised against staying in a building next to a construction crane during a storm like Irma.

The horizontal arms of some cranes were left loose to spin in the winds.

"You are looking at a very large piece of a crane that's still up in the air", said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll. "All this stuff is what we had packed for Irma, but now it's for this crane dilemma", Rebuffo said.

The Miami-Herald reports that ten years ago Miami-Dade County tried to put in place an ordinance which would require all cranes to be able to withstand 140 miles per hour winds.

Many were questioning why the cranes couldn't be moved, Miami officials said Tuesday in a tweet last week.

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