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Illinois deploys 200 members of the National Guard to help with state flood response

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(AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has deployed 200 members of the Illinois National Guard to respond to flooding along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

Pritzker on Thursday, May 30 said another 200 Illinois National Guard members are on standby. He says the flooding is a “grave” and “urgent” situation.

The governor’s action comes as National Weather Service forecasts predict record or near-record crests along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers in the coming week.

The weather service says the Illinois River at Valley City is forecast to crest Monday at 27.3 feet. The record crest in the tiny village north of Interstate 72 is 27 feet.

State officials say they’re using 2 million sandbags to hold water back. They say they want to preserve evacuation routes, so priorities include protecting levees and preventing road closures and bridge failures.

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