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June 20, 2000

Governor Declares Lake, McHenry, Rock Island, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago Counties Disaster Areas

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George Ryan today declared Lake, McHenry, Rock Island,Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties disaster areas as a result of flash flooding along the Rock, Fox, Pecatonica and Des Plaines rivers and tributaries.

"The excessive rainfall and flooding have caused damage to homes, businesses, farms, agricultural levees, roads and other property," Ryan said. "This disaster declaration will enable the state to continue to provide resources to assist in disaster response and cleanup efforts."

Ryan made the declaration after Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Director Michael Chamness completed a tour of the flood-damaged areas of northern Illinois.

"The director told me about the damage he saw and about the tremendous volunteer efforts to save communities like Barstow, Hillsdale, Erie, Machesney Park, Freeport, Spring Grove, Antioch and Gurnee," Ryan said. "These communities still face cleanup efforts and other obstacles and we intend to help out."

IEMA is coordinating the state’s response in these counties. Assistance is being provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Corrections, the Salvation Army, and the American Red Cross.

The disaster declaration also allows for damage assessments to determine if the counties qualify for a Small Business Administration declaration or other forms of federal assistance.


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