Miami shelters homeless against their will as Irma closes in

Video by Kevin Scharfenberg‏, NWS                      Kevin Scharfenberg‏ NWS Miami

Video by Kevin Scharfenberg‏, NWS Kevin Scharfenberg‏ NWS Miami

In the first case, which happened Sunday morning, the arm of the crane also collapsed, falling onto the top level of the building.

But Alfonso said the city was doing far better than expected when Irma was forecast to slam straight into Miami.

"We have no reported injuries", Alfonso said.

A Florida man riding out Hurricane Irma in a nearby high-rise caught images of a massive construction crane that's collapsed.

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Maurice Pons, deputy director of the Miami building department, warned last week that roughly two dozen cranes were a serious threat to residents living next door. Miami is seeing 100 miles per hour wind gusts as the storm moves over Florida.

As Irma's outer bands barreled into South Florida Saturday, a high-rise hazard materialized in Downtown Miami.

The boom of the crane snapped off and is now still connected to the tower, but is hanging off the side of the building.

"The luffing crane can not rotate like a weather vane", Whiteman said.

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Only a few contractors are certified to remove those cranes, and they would not have had enough time to move them out of harm's way even if they all were working at the same time in Miami to prepare for Irma, he said.

City officials said they were using geo-fencing, a 911 communication system, as well as social media, to contact residents in the area.

"All we care about is the safety of everyone right now", the building's developer, PMG, said in a statement.

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