Illinois officials urge caution as storms move through state

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois officials are warning people to use caution and be prepared to act quickly as storms bring heav rainfall and potential flooding.

The National Weather Service expects the Springfield area to see up to 5 inches of rain this weekend. In Southern Illinois, a flood warning has been issued for a portion of the Big Muddy River near Murphysboro. The weather service says it has the potential to force evacuations.

Flash flooding, large hail and heavy winds also are a threat.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging people to stay up-to-date on weather conditions with a weather alert radio, TV or radio broadcasts or wireless emergency alerts.

IEMA Director James Joseph says if drivers encounter a flooded roadway they should turn around, and not attempt to drive through it.