The St. Croix and Mississippi rivers were receding even more quickly than National Weather Service forecasts earlier in the week.
The St. Croix River level at Stillwater slipped below 87 feet -- flood stage -- at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The anticipated crest also was lower than expected, 87.25 feet, which was reached at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
That means the Stillwater Lift Bridge, closed on April 8 by the Minnesota Department of Transportation because of high water, should reopen soon.
The Mississippi River at St. Paul also is receding, dropping below 18 feet early Friday. It is expected to fall below 17 feet by Sunday. That means the river would fall from "major" flood stage to "moderate."
By Thursday, it is expected to be under 14 feet, below flood stage, as it heads back to normal.
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