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Photos: It's So Windy That The Skydeck Is Closed And Trucks Are Blowing Off The Highway

By Mae Rice in News on Feb 19, 2016 9:35PM

At 1800 Walnut (Chicago Fire Department)

Welp, it looks like the price of unseasonably warm temperatures today is a windstorm. Here's our effort to quantify how windy it is in Chicago today.

1. It's so windy that a window pane blew out of a high rise in the Loop. Chicagoist's EIC Rachel Cromidas saw shattered glass in the street in front of 191 N. Wacker Drive, and police had blocked off the street. Officials wouldn't offer comment. It's a little tough to make out, but Rachel snapped a photo from the scene:

It's a little hard to make out since it's high up but it's right where that arrow is pointing (Photo by Rachel Cromidas/Chicagoist)

2. It’s so windy that the Willis Tower closed its Skydeck. A representative for the popular tourist attraction—in which visitors stand in an all-glass enclosure a quarter-mile off the ground—told CBS that the elevators that serve the Skydeck can’t operate in high winds like these.

3. It's so windy that the Randolph Street Bridge is closed. Rachel saw this too. Officials told her they were worried debris from a nearby construction site (the same one where a wall collapse a few months ago) would be blown into traffic. Fire officials tweeted that building occupants at 150, 180 and 191 N. Wacker Drive were all evacuated because of debris falling from the construction site at 150 N. Riverside. A photo of the scene:

150 N. Riverside, where police blocked the nearby Randolph Street Bridge over the river Friday afternoon after high winds threatened to blow construction site debris into the street. by Rachel Cromidas/Chicagoist

4. It’s so windy that the National (National!) Weather Service tweeted about our wind speeds.

There were reports of gusts up to 73 mph!!!

Chicago is a city like no other:

5. It’s so windy that a truck blew off the highway. Or at least, it looks like it did based on these photos, which Bill McDonnell took “just north of Ottawa, IL on route 23.”

6. It’s so windy that some O’Hare airlines are cancelling or delaying flights. Not that this is unusual, but today, a lot of it is wind-related! According to the latest numbers, some flights are delayed 20-60 minutes, and 85 O’Hare flights have been cancelled. Midway is operating normally, though.

7. It’s so windy that a wall collapsed. The collapse happened at 1800 W. Walnut Street. “It appears to be wind-related, but you know, I’m not the building inspector,” said a representative for the Chicago Police Department’s news affairs office.

The Chicago Fire Department tweeted photos of the scene, where they report a car was crushed:

8. It's so windy that a woman almost blew away trying to get into a cab. NBC caught her ordeal on tape:

Thank you to the Chicago Samaritans (including our own Byron Miranda) who jumped to the aid of a woman nearly being blown away in the dangerous winds tearing through the city this afternoon:

Posted by NBC Chicago on Friday, February 19, 2016

Stay safe out there, everybody!

Update 4:00 p.m.: It's gotten so bad, the CTA has suspended or re-routed the Pink and Green Line trains due to "falling debris" on the tracks over Lake Street. Thanks, wind.