Drivers and anyone out running last-minute errands before Thanksgiving were buffeted by blustery, whipping winds on Wednesday that brought down branches, utility wires and anything seemingly not nailed down.
A high-wind warning was in effect for northeastern Illinois until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, with winds peaking as high as 50 mph in some portions of McHenry County, according to data from the National Weather Service. Westerly winds between 25 and 35 mph were expected with gusts as high as 65 mph.
Hebron reported peak winds of 50 mph while Johnsburg reported 47 mph winds, according to the NWS.
During a high-wind warning, damaging winds typically are expected to blow down trees and power lines. Power outages are expected and travel will be difficult, particularly on north and southbound roads.
In McHenry County, these winds have affected certain activities like Huntley's annual Turkey Testicle Festival.
Due to public safety concerns because of the blustery weather, the opening of the Turkey Testicle Festival's main tent and stage area was delayed until 6 p.m., according to Parkside Pub's Facebook page. However, the lineup of bands remained the same and bus routes were still in operation.
Parkside Pub co-owner Jeff Lovell said the main bar and patio area opened normally but he still is monitoring the weather before opening the tent.
And in McHenry on Wednesday afternoon, police advised drivers and residents to avoid South Green Street between Pebble Creek and Biscayne because wires were down across the road.
NWS meteorologist Andrew Krein said winds will be relatively light on Thanksgiving and Black Friday but there will be increasing chances of rain starting Friday afternoon and through the weekend.