Cranes ready for hurricane winds in West Palm - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Cranes ready for hurricane winds in West Palm

Construction cranes and hurricanes: unlikely dance partners during a catastrophic weather event.

However, because there is no time to move them, emergency officials in West Palm Beach are asking contractors to secure them as Hurricane Irma approaches.

“Our guys are going out and checking every construction site, including our own,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio during an emergency operations communications press conference on Wednesday.

In high wind situations, officials say cranes are not supposed to stay wrought in place. Instead, cranes need a little leg room for the best chance at remaining upright during Irma’s high winds.

“You will still see cranes,” Muoio told reporters. “We are telling people to unlock them, and you will see them move with the wind, but they will be safe.”

West Palm Beach residents living near a crane are not being asked to evacuate, and should not be alarmed if they see a crane swaying in the wind.

But not far away in Miami, city officials say the opposite and want people living near cranes to evacuate immediately.

Miami officials estimate their cranes can only withstand up to 145 mile per hour winds. Meanwhile, Irma is packing a 185 mile per hour punch.

The counterbalance of a crane arm is extremely heavy, so if that collapses, nearby residents could see catastrophic damage. West Palm Beach officials will continue to update residents on construction site advisories as hurricane Irma makes its path more known.

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