Gov. Pat Quinn said flood victims should carefully document their losses to improve their chances of receiving federal assistance, during a tour of flood damaged areas Friday.
During a stop in Moline, with a swollen Rock River churning behind him, Gov. Quinn said he was putting all the state's resources behind the flood relief effort.
The Mississippi River and the Rock and Green rivers burst their banks after torrential downpours this week, leaving swamped basements and waterlogged fields in their wake.
Rock Island, Mercer and Henry County were among 38 counties declared state disaster areas by Gov. Quinn on Friday. The move is the first step in seeking federal assistance for the flooding, he said.
Illinois now has 30 days to petition for federal relief for individuals and local governments that incur costs because of the flooding, Gov. Quinn said, adding that itwas critical that homeowners document property losses due to flooding.
The documentation could allow homeowners to receive compensation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at a later date.
Gov. Quinn was flanked by local city officials, politicians and representatives of the Red Cross during his stop at Harold's Landing Park in Moline.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the state's response to the flooding and has deployed staff throughout the affected areas to assist local officials.