Wind gusts topping 55 mph reported in Chicago area
Weather stations at O'Hare International Airport and Valparaiso, Indiana, recorded wind gusts surpassing 60 mph Wednesday during a daylong barrage of blustery weather.
The highest gusts of 66 mph were reported in Indiana, according to the National Weather Service. Gusts hit 61 mph at O'Hare.
The worst of the winds were from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., but the gusts wreaked havoc during the morning commute and into the evening as well.
The high winds toppled utility poles in some areas, including one that blocked eastbound traffic on Butterfield Road between North Aurora and Warrenville early Wednesday morning. The high winds also caused several traffic signal outages across the area throughout the day.
About 1,000 residents in Naperville were without power for less than an hour when a large tree branch fell onto power lines east of downtown. City crews removed the branch and restored electric service, city officials said.
In Elgin, two trees were felled by the high winds, one on Bluff City Boulevard near Liberty Street and one on Standish Street between Moseley and Perry streets, city spokeswoman Molly Gillespie said Wednesday afternoon.
There were also seven reports of downed branches and limbs of varying sizes, one of which might have caused damage to a fence and swing set on the 200 block of Mulford Drive, she said.
"Our forestry crews will be out as long as needed," she said.
A tree fell and crushed a parked car in Richmond early Wednesday afternoon. No injuries were reported.
In Chicago, southbound traffic on Lake Shore Drive was diverted into a single lane Wednesday after a light pole fell on the road on the Near North Side, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Officers responded to the fallen light pole about 1:05 p.m. near Goethe Street. No injuries were reported.
Elsewhere in the city, the wind caused a few scaffolding collapses and knocked over light standards.