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Miami Officials: Avoid Staying Near Construction Cranes If Irma Hits

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The city of Miami is warning residents near construction cranes to avoid staying in a building next to one.

"I'm a little nervous," said Natalie Lozano.

The Lozano family lives on the 44th floor of a high rise. Next door is another high rise under construction.

"We're supposed to have high impact windows but I just heard about the cranes," said Lozano.

The 20 to 25 constructions cranes in the city of Miami are designed to withstand winds up to 145 miles per hour, not a Category 5 hurricane.

The city explained the crane's arm has to remain loose and will not be tied down during a hurricane.

Another potential threat is if, during a hurricane, the crane collapses.

"The crane structure can collapse," said Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso. "It can either go down and crush whatever is beneath it or fall sideways and maybe damage an adjacent building."

The city is urging residents who don't leave to at least ride out the hurricane in the interior portion of the building - preferably the concrete enclosed stairwell.

The city will most likely order evacuation for Downtown Miami. For now, the construction sites in the city are now on lockdown.

Miami-Dade County offers a variety of apps and alerts to stay up to date. You can sign up for Miami-Dade Emergency Alerts  that will let you know through email or texts about public safety issues, recommended public protective actions, or other emergency information. Their SAFE app lets users find open and available evacuation centers and Disaster Assistance Centers near you. To report damage info to the county, click here. 

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