Strong winds force semi to fall from overpass onto street below in Chinatown

The Chicago area saw plenty of garbage and Christmas decorations scattered around in high winds Wednesday into Thursday but some of the damage was serious.

Two people were seriously injured after high winds forced a semi to crash and fall from an overpass Thursday morning in the Chinatown neighborhood.

The tractor trailer was traveling south on I-94 around 1:09 a.m. when strong high winds caused the semi to swerve into a concrete median, according to Illinois State Police.

The semi rolled over the barrier and landed on its roof on Wentworth Avenue below the I-94 overpass, police said.

Two people were taken to a local hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said. 

Lanes on the interstate were briefly closed.

Gusts overnight nearly reached 70 mph and a High Wind Warning was in effect for much of the Chicago area until 9 a.m.

Other accidents included a scaffolding that went down at Canal and Monroe streets in strong winds. That area was cleared by the Thursday morning rush.

To the north, a rusted out light pole toppled on top of a car on the 2300 block North Milwaukee Avenue.

Tree branches did some damage in Portage Park where one hit two cars on the 5000 block of North Henderson Street.

Another branch hit a van on the 6200 block of North Leroy Avenue where it also blocked the roadway for a time before it was cleaned up.

At the Radisson Hotel near Millennium Park, pieces of the canopy over the front door were blown down. 

The slats were removed, but the area remained cordoned off early Thursday as a safety precaution.

Power was also impacted. ComEd says 80% of over 100,000 customers who lost power due to the wind-had it back by mid-morning and the utility anticipates all power will be restored by 11 p.m. Thursday.