Residents in Minot, N.D., got a break from record-breaking flooding as the swollen Souris River crested on Sunday.
The flood waters, however, are not expected to recede quickly.
"It's plateauing right now and will fluctuate for the next couple days," said National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Merriman, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The emergency levees did not break despite waters reaching 1,561.7 feet above sea level – nearly four feet above the 1881 record.
Early Saturday, Minot – North Dakota's fourth largest city with a population of around 36,000 – officials were anxious about coming storms. But by the evening, Mayor Curt Zimbelman reported to applause that the river level would not rise to what they had feared.
It is estimated that some 4,000 homes have been flooded to some degree. More than 12,000 people have been evacuated.
“We’re looking for better days ahead,” said Dean Frantsvog, the president of the city council, according to The New York Times. “Hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Not all North Dakota's cities are in the clear yet. Water levels are expected to peak in Sawyer and Velva over the next day.
Also, a boil order was issued Saturday because of possible contamination of Minot's water supply. Residents are being warned to boil all water used for cooking or for any other consumption.