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High wave warning closes most Chicago beaches to swimming on reopening day

Friday was the first time Chicago beaches were allowed to open after COVID-19 health and safety precautions.

Waves up to 11 feet high crash into the lakefront trail near 31st Street Beach on the South Side, Friday afternoon, May 28, 2021. The high waves closed most beaches to swimming Friday, the first day they were to be reopened since closing over a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Waves up to 11 feet high crash into the lakefront trail near 31st Street Beach on the South Side, Friday afternoon, May 28, 2021. The high waves closed most beaches to swimming Friday, the first day they were to be reopened since closing over a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Waves up to 11 feet high were expected to hit Chicago shores Friday, closing most beaches to swimming on the first day they were to be reopened since closing over a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Swimming was prohibited at most Chicago beaches when they opened 11 a.m. Friday, according to the Chicago Park District’s website. Three South Side beaches were under a “swim advisory.”

A “beach hazards” alert from the National Weather Service warned of “life-threatening” swimming conditions through Saturday, when waves would lessen to 8 feet.

The city on Friday shut down the lakefront trail between Oak and Ohio streets in Streeterville due to high waves.

Friday was the first time Chicago beaches were allowed to open to the public since Sept. 2, 2019, due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions.