In answer, I will copy and paste a few paragraphs that match my understanding. It just says it better and faster than I could. You may want to read the entire article.<quoted text>
OK, so it rained for 40 days, then water covered the highest mountains by more than 20 feet. Somewhere between day 40 and 150, the flood reached its peak. On day 224, the tops of the mountains became visible again. The Earth wasn't dry until day 370.
1) If the flood was localized, why did the water take so long to recede?
"Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.(Genesis 9:11)
2) Does every localized flood break that covenant?
Many Christians maintain that the Bible says that the flood account of Genesis requires an interpretation that states that the waters of the flood covered the entire earth. If you read our English Bibles, you will probably come to this conclusion if you don't read the text too closely and if you fail to consider the rest of your Bible. Like most other Genesis stories, the flood account is found in more places than just Genesis. If you read the sidebar, you will discover that Psalm 104 directly eliminates any possibility of the flood being global (see Psalm 104-9 - Does it refer to the Original Creation or the Flood?). In order to accept a global flood, you must reject Psalm 104 and the inerrancy of the Bible. If you like to solve mysteries on your own, you might want to read the flood account first and find the biblical basis for a local flood.
Does the Genesis text indicate that the flood was local? If you read it carefully, you can determine that the perspective is local. Most English translations are actually interpretations that are intentionally skewed to favor a global flood interpretation. For example, Genesis 7:20 is usually translated as:
The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.(Genesis 7:20)
In reality, the Hebrew word ma‛al, translated "higher" really means "upward." So, in essence, the text is saying that the flood was 15 cubits (20 feet) deep, in total, not 15 cubits above the mountains. In addition, the Hebrew word har really refers most often to hills rather than mountains. See below.
The translators of most English Bibles use the word "earth," which to us means "planet earth." However, their mistranslation can clearly be seen in the following passage:
Gen 8:5 And the water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.
Gen 8:6 Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made;
Gen 8:7 and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.
Gen 8:8 Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land;
Gen 8:9 but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark; for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.