CHICAGO (CBS) — The combination of heavy snow and big waves on Lake Michigan this weekend has people who live along the lakefront concerned about a one-two combination of storm damage.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Sunday, with up to 11 inches of snow possible in some parts of the Chicago area, and a Lakeshore Flood Advisory is in effect until early Monday, due to waves of up to 12 feet on Lake Michigan.READ MORE: Chicago Pride History Makers: Lasaia Wade, Jae Rice And Kwyn Townsend-Riley
At Rogers Beach Park, visitors could get an idea of the forces that are possible from the winter storm. Near Rogers Avenue and Lakeview Terrace, about 20 feet above lake level, high waves churning mid-afternoon had already coated a 20-foot high utility pole in ice.
The concern is those big waves could carry chunks of ice, the equivalent of Mother Nature throwing bowling balls, and there’s concern property damage could follow.
“It’s the beauty of the lake. You know, we get that, and then there’s also the negative,” said Deb Drache, who lives off the lake.
Water threatened to possibly overrun parts of Lake Shore Drive. The National Weather Service issued a Lakeshore Flood Advisory through 3 a.m. Monday, with waves of 8 to 12 feet, or possibly even higher, expected along the lakefront. Forecasters warned that could lead to flooding of lakeshore parks, the Lakefront Trail, parking lots along Lake Michigan, and other low-lying areas near the lake.
Some parts of the Lakefront Trail and some lakeshore parks have been closed off, as the combination of the water, frigid temperatures, and forthcoming storm make for hazardous conditions to runners and winter gawkers.
“It’s really windy,” Drache said. “I feel it in the building. Our building literally rocks.”
“Feeling very iffy about it, if you would” said Jacob Goldsmith, of Rogers Park.
Even Goldsmith’s dog seemed scared of the approaching winter storm, barking and whining as the wind howled in Rogers Park.
Drache said her basement likely is already flooded.READ MORE: Police Call In SWAT Team After Woman Is Found Shot At Club Quarters Central Loop Hotel Downtown
“I’m sure it is. We’re just in the process of recuperating from last year’s storms,” she said.
Drache lives along the lake in Rogers Park, an area where rising lake levels, erosion, and high winds have taken a toll on the nearby lakeshore.
She said the adjacent pier and her fellow condo owners’ property have been mauled by Mother Nature in months past.
Despite that, she’s not going anywhere
“I love it, it’s great, and it’s worth it. It’s worth the risk,” she said with a laugh.
Some homeowners were relying on storm doors and windows this weekend as the winter blast approaches, but most simply were holding their breath as the snow front hits front and center
“Just hunker down, and do what we need to do, and be safe, and then whatever happens Mother Nature will do her thing,” Drache said.
No dogs were harmed in the making of this story.
There are two competing thoughts about the situation on the Lakefront. One, because the lakeshore already was frozen over, the waves won’t be as bad, because they’re working against that heavy ice. The other idea is the storm will win, and that ice will carry onto shore and leave damage behind.
We’ll just have to wait and see.MORE NEWS: At Least 5 Killed, 44 Wounded In Weekend Shootings In Chicago
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