The Cedar River is causing problems in Iowa, where downtown Cedar Rapids is flooded. But in Austin, Minn., the Cedar has dropped nearly two feet since Thursday night.
Still, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has declared a state of emergency in four southeastern counties: Freeborn, Mower, Fillmore, and Houston. That state declaration means the federal government will now assess damage there to see if federal emergency funds could also be triggered.
Heavy rains in southern Minnesota this week followed earlier rains last weekend. Residents of Austin were furiously piling sandbags, hoping to prevent a repeat of 2004 flooding.
One man died Thursday in Albert Lea after his car plunged from a washed-out road.
In Preston, receeding floodwaters are giving way to piles of garbage and debris, as homeowners clean up the mess.
"When you drive around town, if you're someone from outside the community, you'll say 'boy everything looks great,' said City Administrator Joe Hoffman. "But there are a lot of homeowners that are still feeling the pain of the flood and working very hard to clean up from it."
Just about every road in Preston is passable again, as the Root River returns to its banks. Hoffman says inspectors will spend the next few days looking at underwater sewer and electric lines to see if there's any long-term damage. The city's sewage treatment plant was offline for a while, but never flooded.
People looking for a bright spot from all the rains should head north. Most rivers along the North Shore are higher than in recent years, meaning some 200 waterfalls are thundering with water.