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Booming Miami Construction Cranes Become Threat As Irma Bears Down On South Florida


The cranes constructing Miami's high-rises may soon be causing demolition. As the record-breaking Hurricane Irma bears down on South Florida, the City of Miami issued a warning to residents living near the city's 20-plus cranes. 

Construction cranes are designed to withstand winds up to 145 mph, not a Category 5 hurricane with wind gusts in excess of 200 mph. In order to remain upright, the crane's arm must remain loose. The arm's heavy counterbalance poses a serious risk if the crane collapses. 

Build Department Deputy Director Maurice Pons said he would not advise staying in a building next to a construction crane. If you choose to stay, an interior concrete corridor, such as a stairwell, is the safest space. 

With close to 25 cranes at risk, damage could be severe. Miami's multifamily market has been booming. While the condo market has cooled, rentals have soared. Miami expects to complete 3,575 units this year, more than triple the amount completed in 2016. If past disasters are any clue, Miami may soon need every rental unit it can find for temporary housing.