By David G. Firestone
Winter in Chicago SUCKS! The cold can get to be unbearable. This year, it hasn’t been that bad, and earlier last week, we were all looking forward to the warmer weather predicted for the Chicago area scheduled for Friday. Going from 30 degrees to 65 degrees over the course of a week seemed like a great treat.
Well be careful what you wish for. When the serving of warm weather arrived, it came with a large side of high winds. I had my windows open, and I was scared the wind would blow over my TV set, that’s how powerful it was. It wasn’t just me. In Downtown Chicago, a number of buildings had to be evacuated, there was a lot of damage to buildings. Trees were uprooted. The CTA had to suspend elevated rail service in some areas due to the wind.
I’ve been through a few wind storms in my life, and if you’ve ever experienced one before, you understand. Years ago, March 9, 2002 to be exact, I went to the Museum of Science and Industry for the day, and was going to go on a date that night. As I left the Museum, the winds were insane! I took the bus to Downtown Chicago from the MSI, and decided to take the scenic route, the #147 bus from Downtown to Howard Street. It was about 4 in the afternoon, and traffic on Michigan Ave was solid, not moving at all. As we got towards Watertower Place, we learned that the high winds had knocked a scaffold off the side of the John Hancock Tower, and had crushed an occupied car. As a result, my bus went on the most overly complex reroute.
The winds made the trip down Lakeshore Drive quite interesting, as the bus driver wasn’t comfortable going over 30 MPH, and rightfully so. As I watched the winds outside of The Hauler, I was thinking about that day. Thankfully, nothing really serious, aside from some debris damage. I was worried about work that night, as I work outside, and it was as bad as I thought it was going to be. I could have been worse, as I’ve seen signs at stores nearby blow off by wind before.
The weekend was much less windy, and much more fun, as I got to watch NASCAR again! Hopefully when it warms up again, the winds won’t.