EASTON, Pa. -

People living along the Delaware River are breathing a little easier, but they're still keeping a close watch on the water level.

The river in Easton crested Monday morning at 25.15 feet, just about three feet above the flood stage of 22 feet.

The crest came several hours earlier and well below the level forecasters orginally feared.

National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Robertson said the lower level may be the result of less rain from further north left by Irene as it crossed into Canada.

69 News meteorologist Matt Broderick said the Delaware should fall below flood stage early Tuesday morning.

The river in Easton was initially expected to crest at 32 feet around 2:00 Monday afternoon.

Mayor Sal Panto said the river cresting at that level would have created flooding similar to what the city experienced in 2004.

The threat of flooding Sunday morning prompted Easton to order a mandatory evacuation of homes in the city's low-lying areas along the Lehigh River and the Bushkill Creek.

The evacuation order included GJ Mills in the 1400 block of Bushkill Drive.

"As Ed Hanna has said, we're not getting as much rain today [Sunday] as we thought we would," said Panto. "Hopefully, it goes off the coast and we don't get as much up in New York. We have to be concerned ourselves with upstate New York. That's where we get all the water that will flood the Delaware."

Further downstream, the Delaware River at Riegelsville, Bucks County, which also has a flood stage of 22 feet, crested just below 25 feet.

You can click here to track the latest river levels.