Storms Whip Midwest, Kill 1, Damage Skyscraper

Pedestrians scramble as a swift-moving storm with high winds and heavy rains strikes the downtown area, Friday, June 18, 2010, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

Severe thunderstorms sweeping through the Midwest have killed a motorist in Michigan, shattered windows in an iconic Chicago skyscraper and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people.

The National Weather Service said winds in excess of 70 mph were recorded. Hail and winds above 80 miles were also reported in some areas.

Sheriff's officials say a driver was killed near Dexter, Mich., about 40 miles west of Detroit, when winds toppled a tree onto a vehicle.

Two lines of storms thundered through Chicago Friday. Powerful winds and heavy rains broke windows in the 110-story Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). Witnesses say the debris looked like icicles falling from the skyscraper.

Police on Friday roped off areas around the imposing black building long known as the Sears Tower.

Chicago Battalion Chief Michael Gubricky says windows were blown out in a 29th-floor air conditioning mechanical room and a 25th-floor unoccupied office, reports CBS Station WBBM.

Glass was on the sidewalk, but no injuries were immediately reported near the tower. Authorities say a woman did receive minor injuries from flying glass at the downtown Daley Center blocks away.

Chicago fire officials say another person was seriously injured by a falling tree on the city's west side.

The storms brought high winds, heavy rain, and frequent lightning strikes. Trees were uprooted and power lines downed.

Utility officials say power is out for about 215,000 Chicago-area customers and 150,000 in Michigan.

At O'Hare and Midway airports, flights were being delayed an average of 90 minutes, the city's Aviation Department reported.
As the storms hit near Wrigley Field on the North Side, flooding occurred at the stadium and damage was apparent throughout the area.

On the West Side, firefighters had to free a person trapped under a fallen tree. The person was extricated and taken in serious to critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital.

In Des Plaines, WBBM reports about 20 power lines were down, some of which were snapped in half. In Rosemont, the roof of the ticket office at the Allstate Arena was blown off by storm damage.

The forecast calls for a less stormy weekend following a turbulent Friday.

In Indiana, winds gusts stronger than 75 mph knocked out power to about 60,000 customers. Storms left about 19,000 in the dark in Wisconsin.
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