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Cranes, cranes and more cranes concerning for some this hurricane season

Regulations require construction cranes to withstand 140 mph winds

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The skyline in Fort Lauderdale is dotted with giant cranes looming high above construction projects all over downtown.

About 30 miles south in Miami, even more of the same.

When Hurricane Irma skirted the coast last year, at least two cranes failed, collapsing in wind that they are supposed to be able to withstand.

So as the 2018 hurricane season approaches, some residents are concerned the same thing could happen again this year.

"What is to prevent them with a strong wind from toppling?" Fort Lauderdale resident Rita Green said. "I mean, there's a history that they do topple."

Green said all of the construction sites in downtown make her nervous, especially because of the debris lying around.

"They're missiles," she said. "You know, the wind, if it's 140 mph, or even if it were 50 mph, these things are going to blow away. They could have hit somebody walking. They could have hit a car. They could have crashed through a window."

In the event of an approaching storm, construction companies don't tie them down. Instead, they actually allow them to spin. In theory, by doing so, the cranes should be able to withstand winds of more than 140 mph.

"Ahead of a storm, the building department inspects construction sites to ensure that any construction materials or structures are properly secured," city of Miami spokesman Eugene Ramirez said.

Fort Lauderdale does the same.


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