High winds 2nd day in row

October 27, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Gusty winds whip the Chicago area for the second day in a row. In some parts of the area, the recent wind has been nothing more than a nuisance, but in other places, it's been downright dangerous. Some of the damage left behind is extensive, and more strong winds were moving through Wednesday.

No rain was expected to accompany Wednesday's winds.

According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday is expected to be a carbon copy of Tuesday, minus the thunderstorms and tornadoes, as a high wind warning went into effect at 7 a.m. for Cook County and communities north of it and was set to continue until 7 p.m.

Wind advisories for Will County also are in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Chicagoans take windy weather in stride

Still, the breezy conditions did not stop people from following their morning routines along on the lakefront.

"It's fun to run in the wind. I certainly enjoy it. That's why I came out here this morning," said lakefront jogger Alexander Wolff.

"Believe it or not, I was running in the rain. I got caught in the rain yesterday, which wasn't good. So, I stopped kind of early, but the wind just makes it a little more challenging. But it's good to get out...it is good to lose weight whether it's windy or not," jogger Koko Polk said.

Wednesday was the last day the Green City Market will be outdoors and it got quite a sendoff before moving inside for the winter. High winds proved to be challenging for the vendors. They normally would have set up tents to protect their merchandise, but they were told not to do so Wednesday.

"No tents. I'm trying to keep everything on the table. At least the weather is fairly warm, so it is not that big of a deal really," said Mike Klug, vendor.

Some of the shoppers were a little wind blown, including a mom who said her original plans were cancelled because of the weather.

"There was supposed to be a Halloween parade that was cancelled because of the wind so we were bummed out about that," said Amy Hernandez.

The parade was supposed to take place in Oz Park, home to a statue of Dorothy, someone who knows a thing or two about strong wind. There were also people who were braving the elements and making the best of the second day of the high winds.

"It is crazy because one day it is hot, and then the next day it is cold. It was like sick weather. I could get really sick going outside," said Octavia Rance.

Power outages reported by area residents

ComEd crews were still working Wednesday to get power back for area residents who lost electricity. Workers have restored power for at least 200,000 customers, but approximately 29,000 remained without power Wednesday afternoon.

One Chicago area community might be in the dark for a while. Power lines could be down for days in Sandwich, where Tuesday, high winds knocked down large transmission poles. An official says it may take days to fix the poles and get power restored.

ComEd says it expects more widespread power outages throughout the day.

"We have an Emergency Operations Command Center, which is located in Joliet, Illinois. It really serves as our hub of operations to be able to quickly respond to outages. We've also increased our staffing levels. Today, we'll have about 350 crews in the field today. They are ready to go in case additional outages occur," said ComEd spokesperson Krissy Posey.

Windstorm causes damage, triggers tornadoes Tuesday

With winds fanning the flames, firefighters had to call in additional help Tuesday to contain a fire at a University of Chicago building. No students were hurt, but blowing debris hit a firefighter. He was not seriously injured.

Across the city and suburbs, damage and debris was blown about by the strong winds. In Peotone, a tornado ripped the roof off of a home. Two brothers suffered minor injuries.

The wind flipped several small planes at the DuPage County airport, shredded a billboard along I-55 and LaGrange Road and uprooted trees.

On Chicago's South Side, firefighter Merriel Shadlow was about to head out as the wind whipped through his neighborhood. He had to change his plans when a large tree branch crushed his Jeep.

"It is directly over the driver's seat. If I had been in the vehicle, I would have been crushed," said Shadlow.

Besides the damage, the winds also made it tough to get around for some, especially truck drivers.

"I shut it down probably around 3 o'clock. The rain and the wind and everything was just too much. I just shut it down. I didn't want to risk it," said truck driver Josh Strangberg.

Approximately 200 flights were cancelled at O'Hare Wednesday, and the airport was averaging a one-hour delay. Minor delays were reported at Midway airport. Airline employees were expected to be working very hard to catch up during the day. Hundreds of flights were cancelled Tuesday.

Drivers are advised to be careful Wednesday as traffic signals could be malfunctioning as a result of a the wind. That could cause some traffic delays.

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