Chicago Weather

High Winds Cause Damage Across Chicago Area

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Strong winds caused major damage in parts of the Chicago area overnight into Thursday morning.

The Chicago area was under a wind advisory from 11 a.m. Wednesday through midnight, with the National Weather Service warning of gusty winds as high as 55 mph that could blow around objects that weren't secured, including tree limbs and power lines.

A building partially collapsed in the city's Avondale neighborhood on the Northwest Side. The wall and other parts of the abandoned structure in the 2900 block of North Campbell Avenue crumbled overnight, leaving bricks scattered on the ground and on the building next door, which houses a company called New City Moving.

The owner of the moving company was devastated Thursday morning about the damage.

"I have 45 people working inside. Someone easily could’ve easily gotten killed," Brian Slater said. "This could've been avoided if people would've taken this seriously."

Slater said he's made multiple calls to the city over the years to let them know the building was not stable after the roof collapsed a few years ago, but nothing is done. Now, his roof is gone after the brick building collapsed on top of it.

An investigation into the incident is underway but high winds are believed to have played a role in the damage.

Numerous reports were made of trees falling due to the high winds, like in the 7000 block of North Damen Avenue in Rogers Park, where a massive tree and a light pole fell on top of three cars, essentially crushing a silver sedan.

A similar scene was spotted on 70th Street and South Oglesby, where multiple car owners woke up to large trees that had fallen onto their vehicles, causing significant damage.

The NWS reported that in north suburban Grayslake in Lake County, a utility pole was broken by winds with wires downed Wednesday evening. In west suburban Bartlett, spotters reported a 30-foot tall tree, with a diameter of at least a foot, was downed Wednesday night.

Thursday remains windy though the area is no longer an advisory. Forecasts show winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, with some occasional showers in far southern counties and northwest Indiana before clouds depart for sunshine in the afternoon, though winds remain.

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