Waves on Lake Michigan again expected to reach up to 16 feet, affecting Chicago, NW Indiana

Waterspouts Lake Michigan: Windy conditions appeared to spark waterspout along lakefront

Thursday, September 23, 2021
Waves in Chicago, NW Ind. again expected to reach up to 16 feet
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After high waves were seen crashing onto Chicago joggers on the Lakeshore Trail Wednesday, more are expected.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After high waves were seen crashing onto Chicago joggers on the Lakeshore Trail Wednesday, more are expected on Thursday.

It's another day of dangerous lakefront conditions as windy weather continues Thursday, both in Chicago and neighboring Indiana.

And although it's fascinating to look at, when the wind whips up and waves are expected to reach 10 to 16 feet, it can be very dangerous in and around the lake.

A beach hazards statement is still in effect, along with a Lakeshore Flood Advisory. The flood advisory is in effect for Cook County until 10 a.m., and a flood warning is in effect until 7 p.m. in northwest Indiana, ABC 7 Chicago meteorologist Greg Dutra said.

On Wednesday, waves were expected to go as high as 18 feet, with winds along the lake of up to 45 mph. Dutra said the lake level at the southern end of Lake Michigan would be 1 to 2 feet higher than normal.

For people who run, walk or bike near the lakefront, it's a reminder to stay alert of the waves crashing onto the trail. The Lakefront Trail is closed in certain locations, including the stretch from Ohio Street to North Avenue.

"It's crazy. You can barely walk straight at all," said Alberto Ramierz. "We were trying to make it further down, like to the pier, but it was just too much."

In Whiting, the rolling waves spilled onto the boardwalk. The extreme conditions also spawned waterspouts.

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The Chicago Park District reminded people that beaches are closed for the season and asked them to stay out of the water.

"We want to remind everyone to use caution when on or near the lakefront waters," OEMC Fire Operations Coordinator Matt Tokarz said. "We encourage the public to take warnings seriously and refrain from swimming in the lake after lifeguard season ends."

Chicago Fire Department officials said no one was seriously hurt during Wednesday's high waves.

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