High winds cause damage, power outages throughout area Wednesday

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CHICAGO — Wind gusts up to 60 MPH caused damage and widespread power outages throughout the Chicago area Wednesday.

Two vehicles were damaged after a sign was knocked from a scaffolding near the Willis Tower due to high winds.

The incident happened around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on Adams Street and Wacker Drive in the Loop.

The taxi was sitting in traffic when a wooden-type sign slammed onto the taxi, and shattered the entire windshield. The taxi driver injured his arm and was transported to Northwestern Hospital in good condition.

The debris struck a second vehicle, but that driver was not injured. A window was blown out at a Starbucks on the ground floor, shutting down the location.

Willis Tower released the following the statement regarding the incident:

"At Willis Tower, the safety of our tenants, visitors and members of the community is our top priority. We learned of an incident that took place earlier this morning outside of the tower. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, and we are continuing to work with safety officials and ensure that the construction site is secure during periods of high wind.

The high winds have also caused the Water Tower's Christmas tree to lean and lose some of its decorations.

ComEd crews worked Wednesday night to restore power to more than 12,000 customers after high winds moved through the area. So far, more than 440 crews have restored power to 81,000 customers.

Numerous reports of damage took place around the suburbs. In Chicago Heights, strong winds toppled a tree that landed on a car.

“Everything came down, it’s just scary.” a resident said. “I pray everything will be alright.”

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