The National Weather Service today issued a “Lakeshore Flood Warning” for Lake Michigan that will be in effect beginning late tonight until Wednesday afternoon. This warning is especially relevant to homeowners and apartment dwellers who live immediately adjacent to the Lake, as well as those who frequent our lakefront parks.
“The remnants of Hurricane Sandy are forecast to move across the eastern Great Lakes from Monday night through Wednesday. Due to the large size of this storm system, strong northerly winds of 50 to 60 mph will occur on Lake Michigan for a prolonged period from late Monday through Tuesday evening. As a result, waves across the southern end of the Lake are expected to build significantly, with wave heights of 18 to 23 feet likely by Tuesday along the Cook County shoreline.
“Waves are forecast to quickly build by late tonight and these large waves will continue for a prolonged period through Wednesday afternoon before conditions gradually improve.
“These large waves will batter the beaches and shorelines leading to coastal erosion and flooding, and could result in similar impacts to the storm of September 2011. Some of the more vulnerable spots along the lakeshore, including the Chicago lakeshore bike path and portions of south Lake Shore Drive, and any piers and breakwalls that extend into the Lake, could be significantly impacted from these large waves.
“A Lakeshore Flood Warning means that flooding is occurring or imminent along the Lake. Residents on or near the shore in the warned area should be alert for rising water, and take appropriate action to protect life and property.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, a typical windy day in Chicago might bring waves of four to six feet.
The National Weather Service also issued a “High Wind Watch” beginning late tonight until early Tuesday evening that applies to everyone in the area. The Weather Service predicts sustained winds of 30 to 35 mph with gusts of 50 to 60 mph. The very strong winds could result in minor wind damage, including downed tree limbs and power lines. The Weather Service advises residents to secure anything outdoors that could be susceptible to high winds, including outdoor furniture.
If you witness any severe damage resulting from the storm, including serious flooding, downed power lines and/or fallen trees or large tree limbs, please call my office (773-338-5796) and/or 311 immediately.
I will keep you apprised of any changes to the forecast.