Near-hurricane force winds turned Chicago into some kind of post-apocalyptic hell on Friday, with reports of piles of trash swirling like tornadoes, debris violently flying around and CTA delays that Chicagoans simply didn't have patience for at the end of the week. The wind speed at O'Hare peaked at 62 mph—the highest it's been since 1967. It was terrifying outside, but damn if it wasn't delightful. The high at O'Hare for the day was 62, which was just three degrees short of the record high for the day, and it was the first time the temperature in Chicago exceeded 60 degrees in February since 2009.
The unseasonably warm weather had the city in generally good spirits, despite the fact that more than 100,000 people lost power. February in Chicago is typically associated with mind-numbing depression and no hope for rapture other than a UV lamp and a bottle of Ambien, so the warm weather was welcome—even if it brought with it wind speeds that felt just shy of an F-1 tornado.
Here's the skinny on what the weather did to the city on Friday:
Green and Pink Line service came to a halt as debris and a goddamned utility pole fell on the West Side El tracks.
All service is suspended on the Lake Street 'L', including Green Line from Harlem/Lake to Clark/Lake. https://t.co/F2X4E9YcwN— cta (@cta) February 19, 2016
Service on both lines was still facing interruptions on Saturday afternoon.
Wacker Drive was closed down between Franklin Street and Jackson Boulevard for a stretch during Friday afternoon due to "flying debris," and buildings were evacuated along that stretch.
Debris from a building near Jefferson and Fulton streets obliterated a car.
A tree in Lincoln Park ruined a Lexus owner's day.
NBC Chicago's Byron Miranda also solidified his spot as the city's most dashing meteorologist
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: http://nbcchi.com/7UmfkyNPosted by NBC Chicago on Friday, February 19, 2016
Seriously, the entire TOC team wants to jump his bones.
But this tweet just about sums up the whole day:
The wind in Chicago today is basically the sonic manifestation of an anxiety attack.— Kathleen Rooney (@KathleenMRooney) February 19, 2016