2007_12_windssc.jpgYesterday's gusting winds caused quite a bit of damage besides providing more winter chill. Building scaffolding was knocked over in many places, a tree pinned a man in NJ to the ground, and windows and/or debris fell from two Manhattan skyscrapers, hitting pedestrians.

Winds were reported to be at least 40MPH, with gusts at 50MPH, yesterday (wind advisory was in effect until this morning at 4AM). The Buildings Department had asked property owners and construction crews to secure their buildings and sites, like bringing in potted plants and lawn furniture, tying down materials and suspending crane operations.

The two skyscrapers with falling debris were a building at 6th Avenue and 55th Street and the New York Times Building at 8th Avenue and 41st Street. The NY Times reports that a pedestrian was hit at 8th Avenue and 40th Street around 3:30PM and that glass had apparently fallen from a 17th floor window. A NY Times spokeswoman said, “I don’t know that we can say with 100 percent accuracy that is what hit him. It was a very windy day.” Still, the Department of Buildings issued a violation to the NY Times Building's owner for "failing to safeguard the public and property." The pedestrian was treated for a cut above his eye.

It's unclear what kind of injuries the pedestrian on 6th Avenue at 55th Street suffered, but apparently a window fell from a high floor at 1345 Avenue of the Americas.