Illinois starts recovery process as flood waters recede

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP)- Flood waters are continuing to recede across Illinois as residents begin the recovery process after dealing with more than a week of high waters.

Officials with the Illinois Department of Emergency Management say the agency has asked affected counties to provide it with initial damage assessments by Jan. 18. Spokeswoman Patti Thompson says the agency will review the reports and could ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with a more thorough assessment if it appears the state would meet federal disaster declaration thresholds.

After that assessment, Gov. Bruce Rauner could request a major disaster declaration for individual and public-sector assistance if it appears the state meets federal criteria.

Rauner has issued state disaster declarations for 23 counties, largely in central and southern Illinois.