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High winds continue, cause dangerous conditions
SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - High winds continue to churn the waters of Lake Michigan near South Haven on Tuesday, stirring 8 to 10 foot swells along the pier on South Beach.
Just two weeks ago, the city implemented a flag warning system.
"Red means there is a very good chance for dangerous currents," said Ron Wise, Executive Director of South Haven Emergency Services. "Today, we do have a dangerous day."
That flag indicates there is a sign the weather service predicts a strong chance of dangerous currents along the coast.
"We dictate if there are multiple rescues, we're going to go in and close the beach; that's what we're looking at," Wise said.
Just last Friday, the beach in South Haven was closed after several close calls not far from shore. But people are still getting in the water and enjoying the waves.
"It's really cold, the waves are pretty strong; they're not very high, but they're pretty quick," said visitor Ryan Fields, from Ohio.
Fields told Newschannel 3 that he could feel the currents pulling when he waded in--something that's keeping at least one family we spoke to on the shore.
"The main thing is just the conditions," said Jeremy Pastor. "If it looks rough, we are not going to take the kids out there."
Wise says that on days like this, you should err on the side of caution, and watch for the warning signs.
"When they get in on a red day, there is a good chance they would get in trouble, and for the rescuers to get to them, it could take extra time," he warned.
The city checks the flags every few hours, changing the colors based on weather conditions.
They will also be installing two 9-1-1 call boxes on the beach in early August.