Thousands Left Without Power Amid High Winds in Chicago Area

Thousands of people were left without power Wednesday amid damaging high winds across the Chicago area. 

ComEd reported more than 17,000 outages in Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry and Winnebago counties. 

A High Wind Warning was issued for several Chicago-area counties, which remained in effect until 5 p.m. and warned of gusts up to 60 mph. 

A wind advisory was also issued for the entire metro Chicago area and parts of northwest Indiana earlier in the day.

The gusting winds made for a wild day of weather across the metro area. 

Willis Tower's Skydeck was closed Wednesday morning ahead of the anticipated weather. The popular attraction was scheduled to be open until 8 p.m., but was shut down for the day just before 9 a.m.

"The Skydeck is closed currently due to high winds," the venue announced on its Twitter page. "Please check back for updates."

In Chicago's Loop, the wind caused a window to shatter in a high-rise apartment building, sending glass plumetting onto the street below. 

A semi toppled in the gusty condition on the Bishop Ford Expressway near 115th Street and on the Indiana Tollway traffic was halted when power lines fell onto the road. 

The NWS urged commuters to use extra caution as loose objects will also likely be blown around. 

In suburban Oak Park, winds tore the roof off of a condo building on Maple Street.

"I just heard a big gust of wind and then just a bang," said resident Michael De Luc. "I thought somebody hit the building."

A 100-foot brick facade crumbled on Linder Street in Skokie Wednesday. No injuries were reported but bricks and shattered glass created a mess of debris. 

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