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OTTAWA — Recent Illinois River flooding has caused an estimated $8.9 million in damage to public infrastructure and more than 500 buildings throughout La Salle County, said La Salle County Emergency Management Agency director Connie Brooks. Brooks told county board EMA committee members Thursday the county has not been declared a federal disaster area, but the damage the flood has caused is being noticed throughout the state. “This is unconfirmed, but La Salle County seems to be the worst based on my conversations with other officials in emergency management zones in the state,” Brooks said. Federal and state emergency management officials will be verifying the county’s damage assessment and conducting their own studies beginning tomorrow or next week. Afterwards, if the damage is deemed to be large enough, among other factors, a federal declaration could be assigned to La Salle County. If so, federal resources, both financial and in terms of personnel, will be allocated to affected areas. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to assess damage to the lock and dam at Marseilles after it was struck by several river barges. Brooks asked residents affected by the flood to try to remain calm. “Understandably, people have run out of patience because they have lost so much,” Brooks said. “But this isn’t like a tornado. Assessing flood damage is a much longer process.”