Chicago's NATO summit impacting lives in southeast Wisconsin

CREATED May. 15, 2012 - UPDATED: May. 15, 2012

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  • Annie Scholz reports Video by wtmj.com

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CHICAGO- This weekend's NATO summit in Chicago will have an impact on people right here in southeast Wisconsin.

Amanda Lent travels to and from Chicago every day.  But you can count this weekend out.  "Whatever happens will happen, but we won't be there for it," said Lent.  "Especially with the amount of dignitaries coming in, it's like you know if you don't want to be here for it and you can get out of dodge, why not."

The Windy City will be busy hosting the NATO summit this weekend.  It includes representatives from dozens of countries, and protesters from around the world.

Kishi Thompson has a house near McCormick Place, where the summit is being held.  "I hope they just keep it secure, that's all," said Thompson.

More than 100 police officers from Milwaukee will add to that security.  "We're prepared, we're trained, we're ready, and we're going to be a big help," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.

And there will be some big changes.  The city is shutting down portions of Lake Shore Drive and the Stevenson Expressway.  The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium will be flat out closed on Sunday.  Those are just some of the big ones.

Phillip Katz commutes to Chicago for work, and he's already been warned.  "I can't say I've sensed a lot of excitement about it," said Katz.  "Because of the activities, they aren't allowing street work to be done, connecting utilities in the street."

Amanda Lent is seeing a difference too.  "We're supposed to carry ID to get into our building, we can only use certain entrances and that kind of stuff."

And her advice, based on what she's already seen?  "Get out of there, I really don't want to, I don't know what's going to happen, but I don't want to be there to see and find out."