Charlotte couple narrowly missed getting hit by falling pieces of New York crane

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A crane left dangling from the side of a New York skyscraper after Hurricane Sandy is now secure.

It is a welcome sight for a Charlotte couple who narrowly missed getting hit when pieces of the massive crane gave way in the storm's fury.

Charlie and Cindy Markey celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in New York at the end of October.

“We like to go to New York to shop and eat well and just enjoy the city,” Cindy Markey said.  

But Hurricane Sandy altered their plans as it began bearing down on the East Coast.  With their flight home to Charlotte cancelled because of the approaching weather, the couple decided to leave their hotel and walk for lunch in Times Square.  Charlie Markey said as they crossed 57th Street at 7th Avenue, they heard a loud noise. 

"Like a giant steel door slamming shut very slowly," he said.

He said several large pieces of galvanized steel landed about 15 yards away from where they were walking.

The couple didn't realize what they thought was scaffolding was actually pieces of a crane boom attached to a 90-story apartment building, after it flipped over backward as winds peaked at 80 miles per hour.

"I think maybe we still haven't digested how serious it could have been had we been a little closer," Cindy Markey said.

The couple was safe, but stranded for another three days in a city that had virtually shut down.

"Boy, were we glad to get home," said Charlie Markey.

Cindy Markey added, "We're just waiting to see what the 50th will hold for us. Hopefully something a little less dramatic.”