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Pritzker declares 34 counties battling floods disaster areas

By The Associated Press

ALTON, Ill. (AP) — A disaster proclamation has been issued by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for 34 counties along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers due to flooding.

Friday’s declaration is to ensure communities battling floods caused by heavy rain will receive state support. That support includes the Corrections Department providing work crews to support sandbagging efforts.

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for several rivers across Illinois after several days of soaking rain. More than 5 inches fell in places like Aurora, Morris and Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare international airports.

Public works employees in Alton erected a barrier wall Thursday after a Mississippi River surge closed roadways. The weather service forecasts a crest of 35.5 feet by Sunday or Monday in Alton.

The Mississippi River at Chester on Friday was at nearly 37 feet with the weather service forecasting it to crest at more than 43 feet by Monday.

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