High winds cause Chicago, Michigan Ave. damage

Strong winds and falling temperatures made for a difficult morning commute for many and for residents along the Des Plaines and DuPage Rivers, the threat of flooding remains.
February 21, 2014 2:46:12 PM PST
Authorities say no one was injured when a glass panel fell several stories onto Chicago's famous Michigan Avenue shopping district.

PHOTOS: Thundersnow! strikes Chicago

The glass shattered on the street and sidewalk Thursday night when storms rolled the city, bringing wind gusts that topped 40 miles per hour.

The window pane fell from a third-floor Water Tower Place department store at 835 N. Michigan Ave. about 8:30 p.m., as winds gusted to more than 50 mph, according to police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro and the National Weather Service.

Traffic was shut down into Friday morning for several blocks on Michigan Avenue, Alfaro said. Southbound lanes had reopened but northbound lanes remained closed at 5 a.m. as workers cleared the debris, police said.

Wind blew brick debris from a building in the 500 block of North Michigan Avenue early Friday. And drivers had to dodge debris flung about by winds near New and Illinois in Streeterville.

In Rogers Park, wind snapped a power line, causing it to spark near Ravenswood and Peterson. About 1,100 customers were left without power around 2:30 a.m. But ComEd says four hours later about 90 percent of those outages had been fixed.

The National Weather Service says a wind advisory remains in effect for the city until 3 p.m. Forecasters say gusts could reach 45 miles per hour.

Fierce west winds won't die down until late Friday afternoon and could cause turbulence for drivers on north-south roads. Forecasters warned that early morning flurries could create visibility problems as gusts whip up snow.

The Associated Press and Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.


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