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7/04/2008

Flood warning issued for Chicago beaches, lakefront

Chicago, USA
Warning issued for Chicago beaches - potential for flash flooding along the Lake Michigan Shore. The city Office of Emergency Management and Communications has been in contact with the National Weather Services regarding a special marine seiche warning and the possibility of a rapid two-foot rise in lake levels. Residents are asked to stay away from beaches, the lakefront and marina areas, and residents of those areas are warned to stay away from the edge of the water. Evacuation of docks, piers and breakwalls is also advised. According to the Weather Service, a drop of two feet in water levels has been reported at St. Joseph, Michigan, indicating that a seiche is in progress across southern Lake Michigan. A seiche is described as a "standing wave" in an enclosed body of water such as lakes, reservoirs and bays. "A rapid 2-foot drop of Lake Michigan water levels on the east side of Lake Michigan is evidence that a 2-foot rise or better is possible at the Chicago beaches. A fluctuation of water levels at these beaches will continue through the evening [Wednesday]." The warning said this is a "very dangerous event for waders" as water levels may fluctuate rapidly, "taking unsuspecting waders out to more open waters."
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