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Windy Chicago Weather: 20-Foot Waves, Lakeshore Flooding Anticipated (VIDEO)

First Posted: 10/19/11 01:11 PM ET Updated: 12/19/11 05:12 AM ET

Runners and bicyclists have been warned to avoid Chicago's lakefront path Wednesday as the weather forecast is calling for strong winds gusting up to 60 mph, 20-foot-plus waves and potential flooding.

As of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the path was closed by the city's Office of Emergency Management, NBC Chicago reports.

Last month, a similarly brutal lakefront storm elicited massive winds and waves that knocked down runners and cyclists along the path. The storm also knocked out power for more than 27,000 ComEd customers and was even blamed for a building collapse in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood and a fire in suburban Glenview.

But the Wednesday forecast calls for weather that could be even more extreme than the September storm. Fox Chicago reports that a lakeshore flood warning goes into effect from 3 p.m. Wednesday through 4 p.m. Thursday. During that time, Lake Michigan's waves are anticipated to reach as high as 22 feet, though they will gradually be reduced to less than 15 feet.

The area near Lake Michigan will also be under a high wind watch from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.

The chance of precipitation, the Chicago Tribune reports, is 100 percent. Heavy rain is expected Wednesday, totaling an anticipated total rainfall of up to 2.5 inches, and will likely carry over into Thursday. The area's high temperature will hover around 50 degrees.

Check out NBC Chicago's coverage of last month's storm that knocked down runners near the lake here:

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Filed by Joseph Erbentraut  |