One crane collapsed in a bayfront area filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, on Biscayne Boulevard and near American Airlines Arena, according to a tweet from the city of Miami.
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Emergency personnel were unable to respond because of high winds, Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Mike Hernandez said.
Though Miami is far from Irma’s landfall in the Florida Keys, winds from the 400-mile-wide storm were blasting through the metro area. The city was under a tornado watch Sunday.
“AVOID THE AREA!!” the city’s tweet said.
Two dozen tower cranes working on construction sites throughout the city were a concern ahead of Irma.
Moving the massive equipment, weighing up to 30,000 pounds, is a slow process that would have taken about two weeks, according to city officials.
Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida this morning it the eye of the storm hit Key West at around 9.10am, bringing it with sustained winds of 130mph, as well as rain and threats of tornadoes in what is expected to be one of the worst storms to hit the area in living memory.
The state thought it had escaped the worst case scenario earlier in the weekend as the storm was downgraded to Category 3 – but late Saturday night it re-energized and was upgraded back to Category 4, the second-worst level, with gusts of up to 144mph.
Now downtown Miami is flooded and the Keys have been slammed hard. And this is only the beginning for the US, as Irma is set to move northwest, threatening Naples and other cities up the west coast of Florida as the wears on.
‘Pray, pray for everybody in Florida,’ Governor Rick Scott said on Fox News Sunday.