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Curious gather at Chicago lakefront despite warnings

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
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Strong winds continue to churn up big waves on Lake Michigan -- and Chicagoans are urged to stay away from the shore.

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Photos: Superstorm Sandy

The Coast Guard urged people to stay off the rocky terrain, beaches, piers and paths, even if they appear safe, and swimmers and surfers should remain out of the water. Not everyone heeded that warning.

"It's very easy with the slick rocks to fall into the water," said Petty Officer Joshua Posen, Coast Guard.

The lakefront path remains closed as the effects of Superstorm Sandy are felt along Lake Michigan. Some waves were as high as 20-feet, and they crashed into the lakefront trail. A large part of the lakefront bike path was closed, but some adventurous cyclists and runners still tried to get through.

"It's going to be great on the way home, I'm telling ya. We're going to fly on the way back," Jacob Furst said.

"I just wanted to see what the waves were like. We heard they were going to be so big, I just wanted to run down and see," Marlene Key-Patterson said.

For a second consecutive day, surfers at 57th Street Beach were among those ignoring the warnings.

"It can be dangerous obviously. It's water. It's cold, it's big, you can drown, but if you're used to it and you do it a lot. We're all excellent swimmers, we wear the right kind of wetsuits so we don't get hypothermic or anything," said Matt Cruger, surfer.

The lakefront also drew photographers.

"I like this view. It's something unusual for my camera," Vladimir Rabenovich said.

A high wind warning and flood warning for Lake Michigan remain in effect for parts of the Chicago area through Wednesday 4 p.m. However, a wind advisory for the Chicago lakefront has been canceled.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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