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High winds blow through Chicago area, downing trees, power lines, poles and causing power outages

CHICAGO (CBS) — High winds caused widespread damage in the Chicago area Thursday afternoon.

A high wind warning was in effect Thursday for the entire Chicago area and beyond – with southwesterly winds blowing up to 60 mph.

Gusts of 59 mph were seen late Thursday afternoon at O’Hare and Midway International Airports, CBS 2 Chief Meteorologist Albert Ramon reported.



The gusts reached even stronger peaks in some places – 61 in Valparaiso, Indiana; and 63 in Waukegan.

The winds toppled trees, power lines and roofs in the Chicago area, and were also responsible for power outages in the area.

Streetlights also fell amid the gusts.

At 2 p.m., NIPSCO reported that high winds were causing power outages in northwest Indiana. A total of 8,900 electricity customers were affected at that time.

ComEd reported in the greater Chicago area a total of 5,409 customers were without power just before 5:30 p.m.

The wind also blew a “dentist” sign above the Family Dentistry of Highwood office at 126 Washington Ave. in Highwood, and knocked down a roof canopy in the 2300 block of West Foster Avenue in the Bowmanville neighborhood.

High winds cause widespread damage in the Chicago area


A tar roof also blew off a mid-century apartment building at 9133 S. Western Ave. in Beverly, according to the fire department.

Trees also fell throughout the area. A tree fell on a garage in the 800 block of Colfax Street in Evanston, near the campus of Northwestern University.

CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman reported that a tree also fell in the 800 block of West Hutchinson Street in the Buena Park neighborhood – landing on a car. Luckily no one was inside.

We are told it was an old dead tree that was planted in the front yard of a house on the block years ago. He was so tall that he blocked the street when he fell.

In the South Loop, a lamppost fell as high winds blew. The pole fell along a sidewalk near the intersection of Clark Street and Roosevelt Road around 1:15 p.m. when a high wind warning was in effect for the Chicago area, with winds gusting from 50 to 60 mph possible.

A lamp post also fell in front of St. Hilary’s School at 5614 N. Fairfield Ave. in the Arcadia Terrace neighborhood, just south of the intersection with Lincoln Avenue. A power line also fell.

The high wind warning is in effect until 7 p.m.


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