Hurricane Irma Causes Cranes to Snap


Three cranes have snapped in the wake of Hurricane Irma, adding to the damage already caused by the storm's Florida landfall.

The first boom snapped at around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday (Sept. 10), soon followed by another in a neighborhood two miles north, along with a third hours later located near a Fort Lauderdale condo.

Crane Damage

Last week, according to the Miami Herald, officials warned residents who live near cranes that Irma could prove to be dangerous. When the storm hit, there were 20 cranes within city limits.

At the time, Maurice Pons, the deputy director of the building department for the City of Miami said in a statement that he would not advise staying next to a site that had a construction crane, noting that though the cranes are certified to withstand a hurricane, that only covers up to Category 4, or 145 mph winds.

After Sunday morning's incident, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado emphasized that the city would consider stricter codes for the cranes in the future, even though expenses for building projects for the city might take a hit.

“It's development in the future versus tropical storms or hurricanes,” Regalado said. “We just cannot gamble on the wind.”

The booms did stay attached to the cranes throughout the storm, however.

The first crane breakage occurred near Miami’s Freedom Tower, at the Vice apartment building. The boom was still connected to the tower by a cable as of Sunday, but officials still warned those living nearby to seek shelter in their own buildings on sides facing away from the crane.

The crane at condo Gran Paraiso, located in the Edgewater neighborhood and the location of the second breakage, had been properly secured before the storm hit, said Brad Meltzer, president of Plaza Construction.

“The crane's boom was nevertheless damaged due to high winds. Plaza will cooperate with all governmental bodies, as well as the crane supplier and engineers to investigate and establish repair requirements to put the crane back in a state of good repair,” he added.

The Related Group, the developers of both projects in the Edgewater neighborhood and the Fort Lauderdale condo, where the second and third cranes snapped, respectively, did not respond to a request for comment by the Herald on the second incident.

With the third crane, authorities had difficulties reaching the site due to downed trees, making site assessment somewhat limited.

Other Damage

According to the Herald Tribune, more than 60 percent of Sarasota County is without power, along with at least a few reports of downed power lines in Manatee County. In all, more than 3.5 million people in Florida are without power.

Other counties are reporting similar damage with downed trees and power lines, along with extensive flooding and nonfunctioning traffic lights. Officials in Hernando County have closed off a number of roads to account for both flooding and downed power lines, and warns that the power lines may not be de-energized.


Tagged categories: Construction; Cranes; Disasters; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America; Safety

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