- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

WATSEKA, Ill. (AP) - State and federal agriculture officials toured flood damage in the Watseka (waht-SEE’-kah) area as water levels on the Iroquois River start to fall.

Last week the Iroquois County city’s mayor issued a disaster declaration and curfew. That’s when the Iroquois River and Sugar Creek reached more than 24 feet. Flood stage is 20 feet. On Monday morning the waterways were just less than 17 feet.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Philip Nelson toured flooded fields Monday with representatives from the USDA, Illinois Farm Bureau and others. The Farm Service Agency said it has representatives surveying damage and talking to farmers about available federal assistance.

Officials estimate that 40 percent of the crops in the county have standing water.

Watseka is about 90 miles south of Chicago and has 5,200 residents.

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