Near hurricane-force winds wreak havoc in Chicago area

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CHICAGO -- Near hurricane-force winds from Chicago's Lake Michigan on Friday shredded roofs, windows, trees and fences, and caused 160 canceled flights at O'Hare airport.

In one picture tweeted by a resident, the roof dangled over the side of a brick apartment building.

"Pretty sure my roof is supposed to be more on the roof. #WindyCity," Michael Lansu tweeted, with a photo of torn roofing material and what appeared to be broken plywood.

A wind advisory was issued for much of the Midwest near the Great Lakes on Friday, and communities in the greater Chicago area saw gusts often reach more than 60 mph and even 72 mph in one spot, the National Weather Service said.

Meanwhile, gales whipped the open water off Chicago at 63.6 knots. A gale warning will last through Saturday with waves reaching 10 to 20 feet in parts of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario through Saturday, the service said.

"A high volume of outage calls" overwhelmed ComEd, the electric utility said on Twitter. At least 114,000 people were without power at one point, with at least half of those blackouts in Chicago.

O'Hare International Airport reported more than 160 flight cancellations and delays up to 50 minutes, the facility said on Twitter.

Commuter train service in the city was also disrupted due to debris on tracks in some locations, the Chicago Transit Authority said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, despite the apparent damage.

Residents and motorists recounted the terrifying winds on social media, with photography of the damage.

Truck driver David Warren was knocked off the road, and his semitrailer landed on its side in the dirt beside Interstate 35 near Ellsworth, Iowa.

"I come into this clearing and the gust of wind just picked me up and brought me over and set me on my side, and I mean there was no stopping it once it started. It just picked me up and threw me right over like I was a piece of trash on the side of the road," Warren told CNN affiliate KCCI.

In another incident, a ferocious wind toppled a canopy that would normally protect motorists at the pump.

"Touhy and Elmhurst! Wind toppled over Marathon overhang!" Chicago area resident Joseph Bittolo tweeted

Buildings in downtown Chicago were evacuated apparently because flying debris from nearby construction sites broke windows.

The blustery weather was caused by strong southwest winds in association with a strong low pressure area to the north of Chicago.

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:13 PM

CTA PUPRLE LINE: No Service Central to Linden due to tree partially blocking NB tracks. Crews working to move tree and get service running again. Meantime, shuttle buses in place.

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:14 PM

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:14 PM

METRA ELECTRIC: Trains stopped near 55th St after a bin holding salt blew onto the tracks.  Crews working to move bin and restore service.

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:14 PM

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:14 PM

20-60 minute delays at O’Hare Airport; 85 flights cancelled

Normal operations at Midway Airport — for now!

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:16 PM

Cumberland/Forest Preserve: Wires tangled around pole in the street

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:16 PM

Just a little windy….. Avoid the Touhy and Elmhurst area…

A post shared by Andy (@andydemonte) on

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:18 PM
STATES STREET SOUTH OF 21ST STREET DUE TO SCAFFOLDING NOT SECURE
 
CANAL AND LAKE DEBRIS BLOWING OFF TOP OF BUILDINGS
 
WACKER AND RANDOLPH DEBRIS BLOWING OFF OF TOP OF BUILDINGS
WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:22 PM

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:22 PM

3252 Wallace: 3rd floor windows being blown out

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:22 PM

3650 Sunnyside:  big tree in road, no damage, no injuries

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:23 PM

600 W. Fulton: Cars damaged on street due to roof debris

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:24 PM

2974 S Loomis: live wires in ally by garages

 

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:24 PM


Pershing/Racine: light pole fell, in middle of street

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:24 PM

Lake Zurich: IL-22 closed Beusching to Oakwood due to downed wires

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:24 PM
Hanover Park: Lake St closed North to Walnut due to downed wires
WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:24 PM
Indiana Toll Rd: Trailers banned until 8 p.m. due to 
WGN Web Desk February 19, 20162:25 PM

The John Hancock is evacuating its restaurant and observatory due to high winds. Also shutting down some elevators.

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Wind knocked down a brick wall from the new store they’re building on the corner of Jackson and North. It’s for the Fresh Thyme Market that’s under construction, where the old Dominick’s used to be. Photo and info by viewer Alexandra Jacqueline Momney

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20163:03 PM

Green Line trains are standing near Central due to debris on the tracks.

Personnel are working to restore service. Allow extra travel time.

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20163:05 PM

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20163:05 PM

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WGN Web Desk February 19, 20163:15 PM

At least two office buildings along Lake and Wacker were evacuated due to falling debris caused by high winds, Chicago Fire Department confirms.

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20163:26 PM

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WGN Web Desk February 19, 20163:31 PM

ComEd power outages as of 3pm:

92,500 without power

Total power disruption 191,000 in the Com Ed service area

Com Ed restored 91,700 customers restored

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20163:34 PM

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According to NIPSCO, there are over 7,000 people without power in northwest Indiana.

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20163:43 PM

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CTA Pink Line service has been temporarily suspended between Polk and the Loop due to debris, downtown. After Polk, trains will continue to Racine on the Blue Line for connecting service.

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20164:00 PM

CTA Green Line service has been temporarily suspended between Harlem and Clark/Lake due to debris on the tracks.

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20164:11 PM

WGN Web Desk February 19, 20164:18 PM

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