Seven Illinois counties hit by flooding earlier this year have been declared disaster areas by the federal government.
The declaration issued Thursday means the counties are eligible to receive federal funds to help residents and municipalities to recover from the flooding that occurred in July.
The counties of Carroll, Cook, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago were hit by major flooding from July 22 through July 24.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said that although the flood waters have receded, residents and business owners are still facing challenges, which the disaster declaration will help them overcome.
Gov. Pat Quinn declared 12 counties state disaster areas on July 26, making the areas eligible for state assistance. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials toured the areas earlier this month to get a first-hand look at the damage.
Residents whose homes had property damage can begin the process to apply for FEMA relief every day from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. starting on Friday August 20.
Necessary application forms are available on the FEMA website, www.DisasterAssistance.gov. FEMA reps are also available from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day by phone: 1-800-621-3362.