DOWNTOWN — Officials warned people to stay away from Lake Michigan Tuesday because high waves, strong winds and dangerous currents continue to create treacherous conditions a day after a teen went missing in the choppy waters.
Waves as high as nine feet are battering the shoreline. The National Weather Service said people should stay out of the water and avoid piers, breakwaters and lakefront trails.
The Chicago Fire Department also issued a warning. Its emergency crews searched Monday for a teenage boy who went missing in the lake near Diversey Harbor at about 4 p.m.
Crews used a helicopter, boats and divers to search for the boy, but it was called off a few hours later, with the Chicago Fire Department saying lake conditions were too treacherous. Fire Department videos showed the helicopter dropping a diver into the water while battling high winds.
Chicago Police’s Marine Unit took over the search, which had turned into a recovery mission, according to the fire department.
“We regret we could not bring the young man out as a rescue,” the fire department tweeted. “Lake is very choppy with high winds. No one should be swimming. Very dangerous conditions.”
Those dangerous lake conditions still exist as of Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service said “life threatening currents” will be present in the lake through Tuesday.
With Lake Michigan at record levels, minor lakeshore flooding could be seen Tuesday, according to the weather service. Conditions are expected to ease Tuesday afternoon as winds subside.
Chicago’s beaches remain closed, though that has not kept people from using them and accessing the lake.
But without lifeguards on duty and with high lake levels, swimming in the lake is a dangerous proposition, officials have said. Last week, four teenage kayakers who went missing near Rogers Park were found floating 7 miles off shore.
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