Rauner Issues State Disaster Proclamation for Three Illinois Counties

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a State Disaster Proclamation for Kane, McHenry, and Lake counties after flooding in the region. 

The governor issued the declaration to "continue state support to communities as they recover from the recent heavy rains," according to the proclamation. 

The proclamation directs IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency) Director James K. Joseph to acitvate the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate requests for assistance for flood-impacted communities. 

Rauner warned of potential evacuations in Lake County while touring flood damage in the area Friday morning, two days after the county declared a state of emergency as rising rivers continued to threaten suburban communities. 

"This is dangerous and the danger has not gone away," Rauner said. "We may be calling for evacuations in certain neighborhoods and certain communities as the flood waters continue to rise."

The governor and Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director James Joseph arrived in the area just before 11 a.m.  

"Folks think, 'Well it’s not raining anymore, things are just fine or they’re getting better'- they’re not," Rauner said. "In fact for many of our communities and for residents along the river the crest still has not arrived"

Flood Warnings remained in effect along the Des Plaines and Fox Rivers Friday . As of 4:45 a.m., the National Weather Service reported the Des Plaines River at Lincolnshire was at 16.2 feet and officials expect it will continue rising to near 17 feet by Saturday afternoon. Flood stage is 12.5 feet. 

"Please if your local officials call for you to evacuate your home please honor their request," Rauner said. 

Lake County declared a state of emergency late Wednesday night, with County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor saying "severe flooding has created a disaster" and "widespread flooding has "compromised roadways and other public works infrastructure."

Rauner said no death or injuries have been reported so far in the floods, but added that at least 6,800 buildings were damaged. 

"We are very, very fortunate," he said, echoing earlier warnings to drivers and residents to stay off flooded roadways and sidewalks. 

Homes and businesses in numerous suburbs were surrounded by sandbags as residents rushed to keep the rising waters at bay.

Several roadways remained shut down in the area Friday morning.

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital had its power restored after evacuating some of its patients amidst concerns over power outages and flooding in the area, the medical facility reports. Still, the hospital will remain closed for clinical operations Friday, but a limited number of physician offices were expected to reopen for scheduled appointments only. 

“Our primary goal is to assure the safety of our patients and staff,” the facility wrote on its website.

See a full list of closures in the area. 

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