Drenched Paris keeps eye on the Seine

30 January, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • The cafe ‘Les Nautes’ in Paris is seen partly immersed in the the water of the Seine river on Sunday. — AFP

Meanwhile, fishermen — and a visiting flock of cormorants — took advantage of the rushing, boat-free river to look for lunch.

Downstream of Paris there are flood alerts in eleven departments where water levels are still rising.

And the waters are expected to stay unusually high for days or weeks.

In 2016, torrential rains had triggered heavy flooding, plunging parts of France's central regions and Paris' venues into chaos where the Seine rose to 6.1 meters.

The Louvre museum was forced to close off its Islamic artwork level to visitors, and the Musée d'Orsay and the Orangerie galleries were put on high alert.

A statue of a French soldier from the Crimean War - known as The Zouave - on the Pont de l'Alma has also always been used as a marker for water levels in the city.

All boat traffic on the Seine in Paris and upstream has been stopped, keeping tourists off the capital's famed sightseeing boats.

A health centre in Paris's northwestern suburbs, where 86 patients were receiving care, was also evacuated on Friday.




More favourable weather is expected for the week ahead, and Vigicrues has lowered its warning level from orange to yellow in several areas upstream of the capital.

Nearly 1,500 people have been evacuated after the swollen River Seine rose further, raising fears of severe flooding in Paris.

The national weather service Meteo France said Monday that January has seen almost double normal rainfall nationwide, and that the rains in the past two months are the highest measured for the period in 50 years.

Seven stations of a main commuter line, the RER C, have now been closed until at least 5 February, and some expressways that run alongside the Seine have been closed.

However, fears of flooding like that seen in 1910, which saw the Seine rise to 8.62m and shut down much of Paris's basic infrastructure, appeared unfounded.

At the Pont d'Austerlitz, the Seine is about 26m deep, according to the Paris mayor's office.

But areas on the city outskirts have been hardest hit by the overflow, with houses underwater in the southern suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges.

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