CHICAGO (CBS) — Gusting winds knocked over trees and blew down power lines across the Chicago area and northwest Indiana on Wednesday, and even caused glass to fall out of at least one downtown skyscraper.
The high winds also impacted two of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions. The Skydeck at Willis Tower and the 360 Chicago observation deck at the Hancock Center were closed due to the wind, because of concerns that elevators serving the two decks could be damaged.
Wind gusts of up to 55 mph were recorded at O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, and a wind advisory was in effect until 6 p.m. for Chicago and much of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
At least two large trees were toppled in north suburban Waukegan.
Falling glass from a high-rise apartment building, possibly broken by high winds, also forced the closure of a block in the Loop.
Dearborn Street between Washington and Randolph was closed to traffic as firefighters worked to clean up the glass from an apartment window at Marquee At Block 37, 25 W. Randolph.
Many power lines were down around the area as well, with ComEd reporting as many as 21,000 customers without power early Wednesday afternoon. Although ComEd could not confirm all the outages were the result of high winds, a spokesperson said the weather definitely was having an effect.
Downed power lines also caused some headaches for the the Indiana Toll Road and the South Shore Line between downtown Chicago and northwest Indiana. Late Wednesday morning, a high-voltage line fell on the tollway between Kennedy Avenue and Indianapolis Boulevard, as well as the South Shore Line tracks that run parallel to the tollway.
Traffic was halted on the tollway while the line was removed, and a handful of South Shore Line trains were stopped. Repairs were completed by early Wednesday afternoon.