The swollen Susquehanna River is seen in Wilkes-Barre
The swollen Susquehanna River is seen in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania September 8, 2011. Relentless rain spawned by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee caused major flooding in the U.S. East on Thursday, forcing the evacuation of 65,000 people from the northeastern Pennsylvania city of Wilkes-Barre and swamping homes and businesses from Maryland to New England. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Wilkes-Barre flooding crested Thursday night before the waters began to recede on Friday, and the amount of water was higher than expected.

The Susquehanna River crested at a record 42.66 feet in Luzerne County, The Times-Tribune reported Friday.

This was a much higher amount than expected, according to officials.

Executive director of the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority Jim Brozena announced the number at a news conference on Friday and said the high crest put extreme stress on the levees that protect Wilkes-Barre and other West Side communities.

We are at the extreme limits of the flood control system, Brozena said, The Times-Tribune reported.

Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett announced Thursday night that the state was in the rescue phase of the flooding situation.

The Pennsylvania National Guard now has more than 1,200 men and women on flood rescue duty, Corbett said in a media briefing in Harrisburg Thursday night. They have evacuated 60 people by ground and have rescued 76 people and six dogs by air.

Corbett urged residents in flooded areas to stay away from flood water Thursday afternoon.

We face a public health emergency because sewage treatment plants are underwater and no longer working, he said. Flood water is toxic and polluted. If you don't have to be in it, keep out.