Miami shelters homeless against their will as Irma closes in

Miami shelters homeless against their will as Irma closes in

Days before the evacuation order, City of Miami officials warned residents who live next to the construction cranes to evacuate to avoid putting their lives at risk.

The City of Miami tweeted that people in a building facing the crane should try to take shelter on "the opposite side" of the building or in a stairwell.

But Alfonso said the city was doing far better than expected when Irma was forecast to slam straight into Miami. Gusts over 90 miles per hour (145 kph) were reported at Miami International Airport.

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Parts of South Florida are now projected to have a 90 percent chance of experiencing at least tropical storm-force winds, the National Hurricane Center noted in its 2 a.m. advisory. She told The Associated Press that from her 14th floor apartment, she saw the crane toppled over where it hit another building.

About 25 cranes remained up before the storm approached South Florida.

The boom of the crane collapsed at the Vice Tower in Miami, The Miami Herald reported. He said videos of the collapse posted on social media showed a luffing crane, which lacks a horizontal arm and does not spin.

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City manager Daniel Alfonso says officials knew Irma could be a serious threat with about a week's notice, and that wasn't enough time to take all the cranes down. A half-million homes were without power in Miami-Dade County and heavy flooding was a problem in some areas.

"Overall, we're faring fairly well considering what was coming", he said.

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