SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has declared 38 counties state disaster areas after surveying flood damage from the heavy rainstorms across Illinois.
The disaster declaration, issued Thursday night, will speed and expand the deployment of state emergency resources. It also allows the state to seek federal help.
Flash floods and rivers that have quickly risen to record or near-record levels have inundated communities. Thousands of people have been evacuated around the state, and the floodwaters have damaged or destroyed homes and business and shut down roads.
In a statement announcing the disaster declaration, Quinn says "Illinois has seen an incredible level of devastation and reports indicate that conditions will get worse in the coming days."
Forecasters expect that many rivers won't crest until the weekend, raising the possibility of more flooding.
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