The Mississippi River and many of its tributaries continued their retreat Sunday from historic and deadly winter flooding, leaving amid the silt a massive cleanup and recovery effort likely to take weeks if not months.

The flood, fueled by more than 10 inches of rain over a three-day period that began Christmas Day, is blamed for 25 deaths in Illinois and Missouri, reflecting Sunday’s discovery of the body of a second teenager who drowned in central Illinois’ Christian County.

The Mississippi River was receding except in the far southern tip of both states. The Meramec River, the St. Louis-area tributary of the Mississippi that caused so much damage last week, already was below flood stage in the hard-hit Missouri towns of Pacific and Eureka and dropping elsewhere.

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