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Flooding Threatens Areas of Montana, Illinois

September 29, 1986|From United Press International

Flooding threatened areas of northern Montana and northern Illinois on Sunday. Record low temperatures were set on the West Coast, and a heat wave over the southern Atlantic Coast broke records set at the turn of the century.

Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson declared rain-soaked Lake County, north of Chicago, a disaster area because of flooding that caused at least $20 million in damage.

In north-central Montana, the Milk River began to recede after water had spilled over sandbag-reinforced dikes, flooding numerous farming communities over the weekend.

Showers and thunderstorms were scattered over the southern Plains and from the Tennessee and lower Ohio valleys across the upper and middle Mississippi Valley to the northern Plains.

Meanwhile, residents of the southern Atlantic Coast states baked in 90-degree weather. Eight records were broken or tied in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

Savannah, Ga., reached 98 degrees, toppling a record set in 1900 and making it the fifth day in a row that a high for the date has been recorded. Columbia, S.C., and Augusta, Ga., hit 96, breaking records set in 1900 and 1904, respectively.

In the West, a record low was set in Klamath Falls, Ore., with a reading of 26. In California, Sacramento had a record 46 and Stockton's mercury dipped to 45.

In Illinois, Thompson issued the declaration before leaving to tour the area Sunday afternoon in a boat. He said field reports from emergency officials indicated that floodwaters damaged at least 500 homes and 50 businesses and left more than 100 residents homeless.

Water ran four to five feet deep through homes and schools from heavy rains Thursday and Friday, said Tim McGrath, director of the Emergency Services and Disaster Agency.

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