Gov. Quinn tours flood-ravaged areas

April 21, 2013 4:09:53 AM PDT
The impact of flooding could be felt across the Chicago area as homes and businesses were inundated and thousands of people evacuated. ABC7's Chopper7HD got an exclusive ride-along with Gov. Pat Quinn, who flew over flood-hit communities.

The cleanup in North Aurora cannot even begin as the water levels on the Fox River are still too high to begin the process.

High above the Des Plaines and Fox Rivers the water levels look intense.

"I've been thru a lot of floods but never this bad and this wide spread," Quinn said.

ABC7 went along with Quinn as he flew over the flood ravaged areas. Water levels are slowly receding, but the damage has already been done to many homes and businesses.

"I told the mayor in Quincy and every mayor we've seen over the last few days that cities themselves, the units of governments, have to keep close track of their expenditures, everything from cleanup and sand and heavy equipment and water pumps, because they will be entitled to public assistance," said Quinn.

In the southwest suburbs, areas like Stickney and Forest View, residents are using canoes to get around.

Flora's Boletti's house was swallowed by water early Thursday morning.

"I can't believe it because I've never saw it before," she said. "I've lived here almost 40 years. I've never seen this happened before."

She lost everything.

"I'm homeless. That's what I can say. I'm homeless," she said.

"The second round of boats were going out about 11 o'clock, they were going back for all of the animals, it was amazing," said Sarah Morelli. Many elderly people live in this area, and had to evacuate without their medication to a nearby shelter.

But the community pulled together, neighbors grabbed canoes to row out and help.

Before any of the cleanup can begin, a lot of the water has to recede first. The governor has declared 42 counties in Illinois disaster areas.

Voluntary Evacuations:
Will County - Village of Plainfield
Hancock County - families evacuated on their own

Mandatory Evacuations:
Knox - half of the village of London Mills
DeKalb - Evergreen Village Park
Grundy - Christ Hospital and two residences in Morris
Mercer - a campground in Keithsburg
LaSalle - partial nursing home in Ottawa, towns of Marseilles and Utica
Kane - South Elgin partial areas
Rock Island - Barstow


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