- Associated Press - Saturday, May 19, 2018

MARION, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a disaster proclamation for nine southern Illinois counties affected by a water main break that left cities short of water and forced schools and businesses to close.

Rauner made the announcement Friday during a visit to the area to get an update from Rend Lake Conservancy District on water restoration efforts.

Officials say a breach in a 36-inch water distribution line at the district’s Benton-area water plant cut water service to more than 175,000 people. All systems served by the Rend Lake Conservancy District remain on water boil orders.

Rauner’s proclamation covers Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Saline, Washington, White and Williamson counties.

His order ensures that state support for the affected communities will continue until all water supply issues are resolved.

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