(BENTON, IL) — Franklin County Board Chairman Randall Crocker has formally declared that a state of disaster exists in Franklin County. The declaration was made today upon recommendation of Director of Emergency Management Ryan M. Buckingham after local officials responded to a variety of issues caused by extreme weather and flooding over the weekend. “Local agencies have been working tirelessly since last Friday to ensure public safety and to protect the property of local residents”, said Director Buckingham. Several homes in the City of West Frankfort and other areas throughout Franklin County have been affected by the disaster. Multiple roadways have sustained considerable damage and some continue to remain closed due to high water. A thorough damage assessment of the affected areas is expected to begin later in the week. A local declaration of disaster does not guarantee State or Federal disaster assistance; however it does streamline the process for obtaining additional emergency resources for the County should they be required. Emergency management officials will also be working with local elected officials and partner agencies in the coming days to highlight any recovery assistance that may become available to residents who were affected.