CHICAGO (AP) — Powerful winds buffeted the Chicago area Friday damaging buildings, forcing flight delays, knocking out power and resulting in the shutdown of rapid transit service due to falling debris.
The fire department shut down Chicago Transit Authority elevated train service on two lines because debris was falling onto the tracks. Authorities said debris, believed to be blowing from high-rise construction sites, forced the evacuation of two downtown office buildings.
O'Hare International Airport reported delays of up to 50 minutes for incoming and outgoing flights and 160 flights canceled, mostly due to high winds. Midway Airport was not reporting delays.
With gusts recorded at 60 mph in some places, Willis Tower closed its Skydeck attraction, saying its elevators couldn't operate in strong winds. A National Weather Service recording station three miles offshore in Lake Michigan recorded winds of 73 mph.
ComEd said more than 105,000 people were without power due to high winds, mostly in Chicago and its northern and western suburbs.
Some roadways were closed because of downed wires. Illinois State Police Sgt. Patrick Manno told the Chicago Tribune a "runaway stroller" was reported on Interstate 57 near the split with Interstate 80. "Thankfully, there was no baby inside," Manno said.
The Chicago Fire Department said a car was crushed when a wall fell at a construction site. No injuries were reported. There also were no injuries at a building in Elk Grove Village where a roof partially collapsed.