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High Winds, Rain Sock Chicagoland, Snow Hits NW Indiana

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High waves pound the shoreline along Lake Michigan. (CBS)

High waves pound the shoreline along Lake Michigan. (CBS)

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UPDATED: 11/29/2011 10 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Strong wind and rain are hitting Chicagoland hard on Tuesday, causing high waves along Lake Michigan.

The high winds caused some delays at the airports and police had to block portions of the lakefront due to the high waves.

The high winds were also blocking ventilation systems, trapping carbon monoxide inside two residential high rises, WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports. Residents had to be evacuated, but no injuries were reported.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports

Areas south of Interstate 80 and east of Interstate 57 are most likely to see accumulations of wet, slushy snow anywhere from one to three inches. Jasper and Newton counties in northwest Indiana could see the most snow.

Snow began falling Tuesday afternoon in Lafayette, Ind. Up to an inch of accumulation was expected near Lafayette and Remington, Ind., about 100 miles north of Indianapolis

Closer to Chicago, drivers in northwest Indiana were dealing with wind gusts of up to 45 mph.

“I’m pulling a flatbed trailer, so I don’t have as much impact as some of these dry vans, but it’ll turn you right over in a minute, you know? Not much you can do about it,” one trucker said. “Stay away from big trucks.”

Moderate to heavy rainfall of more than two inches is possible across the metropolitan area and may change to snow later Tuesday afternoon as cold air moves across the region, CBS 2 Megan Glaros reports.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports

As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, the pounding waves – some up to 20 feet high – often draw curious onlookers, but when the Lakefront Bike Path was closed Tuesday, Chicago Park District security personnel stuck around to make sure people heeded the warning.

The mix of high winds and cold had some people jogging on Michigan Avenue, just to get inside. But folks out walking along the Magnificent Mile actually had mixed reaction to the wind.

“I’ve never had to get off my bike before,” said one man on Michigan Avenue on Tuesday. “I had to get off my bike, actually, because it was like a dead stop. It’s really bad. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it, seriously.”

But one woman said, “I kind of like it. … I do, I think it’s refreshing. Um, you know, it’s almost December and this is Chicago, I mean, you kind of expect it.”

Along with precipitation, forecasters are calling strong winds gusting to 40 miles per hour. Gusts up to 50 miles per hour near the lake shore could whip up “battering waves” causing beach erosion and minor lake shore flooding.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication issued a warning about driving in the high wind, telling drivers to take into consideration the effect of high wind on steering conditions.

Some flights arriving at O’Hare are already delayed up to three hours, according to FAA flight delay information online. Delays of about 15 minutes are being reported at Midway International Airport. All passengers are encouraged to check with airlines before heading to the airport.

A wind advisory was in effect much of the day near Lake Michigan in Cook, Lake and Porter (Ind.) counties for winds of 30 to 39 miles per hour and gusts between 45 and 57 miles per hour, but the advisory was lifted at 9 p.m., according to the weather service.

However, a lakeshore flood advisory was still in effect until 10 a.m. Wednesday for the portions of Cook and Lake counties along Lake Michigan, the weather service said.

Waves are expected to increase to 15 to 20 feet Tuesday morning, with higher waves possible on occasion, the weather service said.

The high is only expected around 40 degrees during the day, and the temperature could drop into the mid-20s at night.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report

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