By Vince Gerasole

CHICAGO (CBS) — Flags took a beating on Wednesday Other damage was reported as a result of the strong winds.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has the story from Michigan Avenue.

A towering tree was knocked to the ground near 67th Street and Lake Shore Drive. And mid-morning traffic was stopped as crews worked to clear it away.

A dramatic scene at the base of Willis Tower: a taxi windshield shattered to pieces. Police said wooden debris from the building’s ground level construction project was blown loose from scaffolding.

The driver was injured in the arm and taken to Northwestern Hospital.

Construction workers scrambled to secure the area, but not before additional debris slammed into the revolving door of the Willis Tower’s Starbucks. The entry was later boarded shut.

Toppled trees smashed against parked cars on the northwest side, one slammed into the back of a pickup. And not far away downed utility wires.

A downed pine tree smashed into the side of  St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Jefferson Park piercing the stained glass window of the its convent chapel.

Strong gusts had city officials taking the rare move of closing the seasonal Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza just as a precaution.

But along the Mag Mile, winds pushed against the Christmas tree in Jane Byrn Park, causing it to tilt and knocking off its decorations.

Not far away, injuries were narrowly avoided along busy Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast as a light pole came crashing onto the three southbound lanes below.

While police re-routed motorists, there’s a closer look at the pole’s rusted decaying base that was no match for Wednesday’s forceful winds.

Vince Gerasole