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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Concerns about continued flooding and forecasts of more rain have prompted Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY-sik) to issue an emergency declaration for 17 counties in the southern and eastern parts of the state.

The declaration made Saturday afternoon allows for the National Guard to be activated if needed.

Counties included in the declaration are Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Clermont, Columbiana, Gallia, Hamilton, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Monroe, Meigs, Muskingum, Scioto and Washington.

The National Weather Service says between 1 and 2 inches of rain is forecast beginning Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Meteorologist Andy Hatzos says the Ohio River at Cincinnati is expected to crest at 59.5 feet (18.1 meters) Monday morning. Saturday afternoon the river reached 57 feet (17.4 meters), well above the 52-foot (15.9-meter) flood stage.

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