The Latest: Governor declares 3 counties disaster areas

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GURNEE, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on flooding in northern Illinois (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a state disaster proclamation for Lake, McHenry and Kane counties.

Rauner on Friday also directed Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director James K. Joseph to activate the State Emergency Operations Center as needed to coordinate any requests for assistance from flood-impacted communities.

Rauner said the proclamation will ensure the state continues to provide whatever assistance is needed now and in the coming days as the affected counties begin recovery efforts.

Illinois officials say about 6,800 buildings have been affected by "unprecedented" flooding north of Chicago, and the damage is expected to worsen this weekend as water flows down rivers into the state from Wisconsin.

12:40 p.m.

Illinois officials say roughly 6,800 buildings have been affected by flooding north of Chicago, and more damage is expected as rivers rise in coming days.

Gov. Bruce Rauner toured the area Friday before speaking outside a school in the Chicago suburb of Gurnee.

He says "the danger has not gone away" and authorities may be asking residents along the Des Plaines and Fox rivers to evacuate their homes as record rainfall moves south. The rains hit southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois on Wednesday.

Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor says about 2,100 structures — many located along the Chain O' Lakes — are submerged. Lawlor says officials predict about 5,800 structures will be submerged soon.

He says "This is an unprecedented flood" and waterways will hit record levels.


6:35 a.m.

Forecasters say flooding in north-suburban Chicago could worsen over the weekend as water flows down rivers into the state from Wisconsin.

The National Weather Service says the Des Plaines River and Fox River could crest on Saturday even though the area isn't getting fresh rainfall. The flooding prompted Lake County to issue a disaster declaration.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, state Emergency Management Agency Director James Joseph and Lake County officials plan to survey flood damage Friday in Gurnee.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources warned high water could cause problems in the Chain O' Lakes.

Power outages caused by flooding forced the evacuation Wednesday of Lake Forest Hospital in suburban Chicago. Power was restored that night, but Northwestern Medicine says the hospital remains closed Friday while damaged infrastructure is restored.

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