Rauner to tour flood-damaged areas, thank volunteers

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is returning early from a vacation outside the U.S. to visit areas damaged by floods and thank volunteers.

Rauner’s office says the governor will be in Springfield on Thursday night. He will spend the next several days in central and southern Illinois, where severe weather has led to flooding and seven deaths.

On Tuesday, Rauner issued a disaster proclamation for seven counties, where about 7 inches of rain fell between Dec. 23 and 28.

Business owners in the historic riverfront city of Alton are scrambling to keep out rising water from the Mississippi River.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says Fort de Chartres, Fort Kaskaskia and Pierre Menard Home have been temporarily shut down because rising water made the sites and nearby roads unsafe. All three sites are in Randolph County, about 40 miles south of St. Louis.