We're going to see waves that reach 20 feet. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Lake Michigan in Chicago in effect from 1 a.m. Tuesday through 4 p.m. Wednesday, but you will start seeing high winds by Monday night. The lakefront will most likely see waves from 18 to 23 feet high, and we will also see wind gusts at 60 miles per hour. People are being told to stay away from the lakefront. Also, if you live in a high-rise by Lake Michigan and have a balcony, make sure that your belongings are secure.
Many in the Chicago area, especially those who live and play along Lake Michigan, braced for the high winds. The gusts could churn lake waters, causing flooding.
The bike path between North Avenue and Ohio was closed at 11 p.m. Monday.
To the north, Evanston city official issued a wave warning after the flood warning from the National Weather Service. Evanston's dog beach will be also closed until further notice because of "dangerous high waves and winds."
Boaters are being told to stay on land after forecasters predict waves will batter beaches, possibly causing some shoreline erosion.
But the main problem could be flooding along the Lake Michigan shoreline, which happened last year as the city was battered by high winds.
A small but hard core group of Chicago surfers are ignoring the city's warnings.
"That's appropriate for most people, but this is our Disneyland out here right now," said Justin Oldham, surfer.
As a precaution, docked boats were relocated Monday afternoon from Monroe Harbor to DuSable, which is more protected, while owners tried to secure their vessels.
Flights canceled, travelers standed
Also, travel across the country is impacted by the storm. Amtrak has cut all East Coast service Monday. There were also 500 cancellations at O'Hare International Airport and more than 100 at Midway by 8:30 p.m. According to one website, 6,500 flights have been canceled Monday around the country.
Ann Sirisuwat was returning to New York from vacation in San Francisco. Now, her layover will take at least two days so her focus is finding a hotel room.
"Today and tomorrow is so hard, I can't get it for tonight but tomorrow is okay," she said.
Mcalister George was trying to beat the storm and make it back to school in College Park, Maryland. But he ended up staying at O'Hare overnight.
"I'm exhausted. I just want to go home and get out of here," he said.
Orbitz has been working with customers warning about the storm and helping travelers from alternatives.
The northeast corridor is usually packed with planes icons showing flights in the air. But on Monday the corridor is virtually clear for the path of Hurricane Sandy.
"It's pretty much stalled right now from Boston down to DC," said Jeanenne Tornatore, Orbitz.
Some are trying to get to the East Coast by land.
The Shullenberger-Kassis family will drive home to Vermont.
"I bought them a month's supply of chewing gum. I hope that lasts them a couple of hours," said Luke Shullenberger.
Major carriers such as American Airlines, Jetblue and Delta plan to cancel all flights into and out of the three major area airports in New York, and delays are rippling across the U.C. and beyond.
The high wind watch goes into effect for Cook County Monday night. Wind advisories extend over to northwest Indiana. landfall later on this evening.