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

Posted September 12, 2017

It wasn't immediately clear whether the collapse caused any injuries.

The National Weather Service says that a crane has collapsed in Miami as strong wind from Hurricane Irma blows in.

One couple who had taken shelter inside their store filmed as the water level rose outside their windows and began to seep through the cracks under the door, trapping them inside. They are built to withstand high winds, but maybe not to withstand Hurricane Irma.

Drivers wait in line for gas in Altamonte Springs Florida
Drivers wait in line for gas in Altamonte Springs Florida

Residents at the Treasure Village Mobile Home Park in St. Petersburg, about four hours northwest of Miami Beach, said they weren't leaving either - even though the county called for an evacuation of all mobile homes, regardless of whether they were inland or near the water.

The strong winds prevented emergency workers from responding at first, and the cranes' arms remained where they had fallen, dangling menacingly above buildings. Three, two, one. Reporter: This demonstration shows how impact glass can stop a projectile in its tracks.

President Trump has described Hurricane Irma as "a storm of absolutely historic destructive potential" and declared major disaster in Florida, which means federal funds will be released. Maurice Pons, deputy director of the city's building department, said in a statement then that he "would not advise" riding out the storm near one of the cranes.

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Officials urged people in buildings facing the crane to seek shelter on the opposite side of the building or in a stairwell.

Although it is likely that the eye will move near or over the Lower Keys Sunday morning, its angle of approach to the west coast of Florida makes it hard to pinpoint exactly where Irma will cross the Florida Gulf Coast. "Consider that the counterbalances on tower cranes weigh about 20,000 to 30,000 pounds". The employee captured video of the collapse.

Hurricane-force winds are continuing throughout southern Florida, including the Keys.

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A tornado could have ripped the crane loose, Whiteman said.

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