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Governor Declares 38 Counties Disaster Areas Due To Floods

CHICAGO (STMW) -- Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday declared 38 counties, including Cook, as state disaster areas because of flood damage caused by several days of severe storms and heavy rainfall.

The designation will help speed and expand access to state emergency resources and allow the governor to pursue federal relief and support, a statement from the governor's office said.

"Illinois has seen an incredible level of devastation and reports indicate that conditions will get worse in the coming days," Quinn said in a statement. "We want to ensure that every county gets the assistance they need and this declaration will give every affected community access to available resources."

Flooding along rapidly rising rivers and streams has forced resident evacuations, damage to homes and businesses, power outages and road closures across the state, the statement said.

Also included in the disaster declaration were DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle and McHenry counties.

It allows affected communities to obtain state personnel and assets to aid in disaster recovery, including trucks, heavy equipment and crews for debris removal, security and public safety and health issues, the statement said.

The governor is also beginning the process of seeking federal assistance.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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