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Surfers Catching Rare Waves On Lake

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Tuesday’s chilly temperatures hardly make for ideal beach weather, but windy conditions in northwest Indiana were a welcome change for surfers who haven’t been able to catch many waves this year.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Lake Michigan surfers have had a pretty dry spell lately, so they’ve been itching to get on the water.

At Portage Beach along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Judith Miller was among the handful of surfers riding the few waves they could find.

“It was a lot of fun. Any day I get on the water is a good day,” she said. “Don’t have a lot lately, no. It’s not been a great season for waves.”

Miller started her wave search in Chicago on Tuesday, and found the best waves in Portage, Indiana.

Jack, a Chicagoan preparing to catch some waves, said finding strong waves ideal for surfing have been very rare this year.

“I think there was one day in May that had some strong weather; but other than that the waves have been flat as a pancake for two, three months,” he said.

Even Tuesday’s waves were “kind of small,” but that’s all relative. For swimmers, braving the 3- to 7-foot waves and cold lake conditions – without the aid of a wetsuit or surfboard – will leave them struggling with the powerful current.

The National Weather Service has issued a beach hazard statement until 10 p.m. Eastern Time in LaPorte County, and until 11 p.m. in Porter and Lake counties, due to 4- to 7-foot waves and strong rip currents.

Surfers said the higher waves in northwest Indiana were due to the northwest winds Tuesday morning.

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