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Polish floods start to recede

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Flood waters began to recede across parts of Poland on Friday after heavy rains killed 17 people nationwide, the Interior Ministry said.

Fourteen of Poland's 16 provinces were affected by the flooding that started last week, when the rains caused the Vistula, Odra and Warta rivers to overflow, the ministry said.

About 4,000 soldiers and 15,000 firefighters have been taking part each day in the response, officials said. Army, police and border guard helicopters have also been used, along with 53 amphibious vehicles.

Flood waters are now moving toward the Baltic Sea and receding in five Polish provinces in the south and the east, the ministry said.

CNN's Bharati Naik in London, England, contributed to this report.