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CHICAGO, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The Chicago area Thursday was hit with a second day of rain, high winds and Lake Michigan waves up to 25 feet, the National Weather Service said.

The wind and huge waves Wednesday forced closure of part of the popular lakeshore bike and jogging path. WGN-TV, Chicago, reported more than a dozen boats broke free and some smashed into others, with damage estimates at more than $1 million.

Winds of 40 mph and 20-plus-foot waves hampered the Chicago Police Department's Marine Unit's effort to salvage the boats near Monroe Harbor. No injuries were reported.

Winds pushed other boats into the breakwall near the Shedd Aquarium Wednesday night, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Northeast winds of 40-45 mph, with gusts reaching 60 mph, were forecastThursday, with the strongest winds next to Lake Michigan.

A lakeshore flood warning was extended until 4 p.m. Thursday, with heavy rains and waves from 14 feet to 25 feet predicted.

About 7,100 ComEd customers were without electricity early Thursday, ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson said. Most of the power outages occurred in the city and the near west suburbs, the remainder in northern Illinois.

ComEd opened its emergency command center and brought in extra crews.

Downed tree limbs and power lines were expected, and those living in high-rises were urged to bring balcony furniture indoors to keep it from blowing away.



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