Thirty-eight counties in Illinois are disaster areas due to floods. Gov. Pat Quinn has been surveying the damage. He talked about it standing in a flooded neighborhood in Riverside (pictured), where water in the street is over a foot deep. “A little bit earlier we were in Bellwood and I’ve been across Illinois. Later today I’m going to Moline and to Quincy and to Peoria, and we really have to pay attention right now because our rivers in Illinois are swollen and rising,” he said.
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The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says evacuations across the state exceed 1,000 people, including Riverside, Marseilles and Sycamore. Flooded roads are rampant in the northern part of the state, and places downstream that aren’t flooded yet are getting ready. In Grafton, the mayor plans to close the main road leading into town by midday Saturday. Some businesses near the Mississippi River are clearing out. The Spoon River topped a levee in London Mills, south of Galesburg, prompting an evacuation of about half the town. The police chief says some homes are half under water. The disaster declaration will speed and expand the deployment of state emergency resources. It also allows the state to seek federal help.