Wind gusts of 50-60 mph in Philly area today

Rowan University students walk to class on a cold day last year. People in the Philadelphia region should brace for strong winds Thursday.

Strong winds continue to sweep through the Philadelphia region Thursday, toppling trees, blowing debris, knocking down power lines, and causing travel disruptions.

The National Weather Service has taken down the high wind warning, but the potent breezes persist, with a 38 mph gust was reported at Philadelphia International Airport at 1 p.m., and one of 45 mph in Atlantic City at noon.

The strongest gusts are due to back off by late afternoon, but expect sustained winds in the 20-25 mph range.

During the morning, a 64 mph was reported in Lancaster, and a gust in Newtown Square, Delaware County, reached 57 mph, the weather service said. A Seaside Heights gust reached 58 mph.

Other strong gusts included 53 mph in Northeast Philadelphia and Schwenksville, and 52 mph at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst 

The gusty conditions were causing several travel problems in the region.

Oversized commercial vehicles are banned on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Reading Interchange and New Jersey, and on Interstate 476 from the Mid-County Interchange to the Mahoning Valley Interchange due to the high winds.

Downed trees were causing other traffic disruptions, including one that temporarily blocked a lane on Interstate 295 in Bordentown Township.

SEPTA's West Trenton Line was briefly suspended due to a fire caused by a downed wire in Lower Moreland Township. Service on the Regional Rail route was starting to resume by about 7:45 a.m., though continued delays were expected.

Authorities were warning people and businesses to tie down unsecured objects. The wind was also knocking down some trees and utility lines, sending one tree into a home in Delaware County and causing scattered outages throughout the region.

The heaviest winds are expected to end by mid-morning, though the rest of the day is likely to remain breezy.