In parts of the Midwest, it's being called the the most devastating flood in recorded history, and the worst of it may still be upstream.
Authorities attribute at least three deaths in Indiana and Missouri to raging waters that swept cars away.
In Peoria, Ill., the Illinois River crested at a record 29.3 feet and flooded downtown businesses.
Along the Mississippi, there were massive problems. More than 100 barges that broke free in St. Louis collided with a bridge.
Across the region, residents cannot believe what they're experiencing.
"I've lived here all my life and I've never seen anything like this," one resident said.
"We've lived here 50 years," Grand Rapids, Mich., resident Ruth DeHaan said. "We come down here once a week. Never seen anything like this."
In Comstock Park, Mich., the high-cresting waters devastated Bruce Lings's neighborhood -- and then he faced a second tragedy: his home was looted.
"Everything in this house is destroyed. This fellow took everything out," he said. Starting over at 56 is a hard thing. What we miss most is our memories."
In Des Plaines, Ill., outside of Chicago, homeowners are still cleaning up. Four counties in the state have been declared state disaster areas.
"We were bailing and urging it down the drainpipe until the window burst," said Cathy Kostrzeski, whose home was flooded. The basement window burst from the water and people parading outside."
In other communities, the race is on to fill sandbags and fortify neighborhoods in advance of rising waters.
"So much work to be done and not enough people to do it," one resident said.
In Clarksville, Mo., residents are hoping the Mississippi won't overflow its banks. And in Cass County, N.D., they're building clay levees and delivering sandbags.
Even as some rivers are showing signs of cresting, the recovery isn't expected to come quickly or easily. The National Weather Service expect many Midwest waterways to remain high into next month.