In Paris, the government has issued warnings to the public to exercise “extreme caution” after the Seine River overflowed earlier this week. Heavy rainfall throughout January has caused the river’s water levels to rise nearly 15 feet above its normal threshold—and officials anticipate those levels will continue to rise.
A number of rail lines in the French capital are flooded, as are some major streets. Authorities have closed several roads and canceled all boat cruises down the Seine, as forecasters expect flooding to reach its peak—19 ft and 20.3 ft—this weekend.
The central section of Paris’s RER C train line—which serves many tourist attractions and landmarks—will shut down until at least Friday. The seven stations concerned are the following: Saint-Michel Notre Dame, Orsay Museum, Invalides, Champ de Mars, President Kennedy Avenue, Boulainvilliers, and Pont de l’Alma.
In addition, the Louvre’s Department of Islamic Arts implemented emergency procedures to prevent potential water damage to artwork, closing its doors until at least Sunday. The Musée d’Orsay has followed suit, announcing a temporary closure on Thursday night.
According to the DRIEE Île-de-France, an interdepartmental directorate responsible for monitoring and transmitting information about flooding in France’s northern region, the Seine’s levels have surpassed 17 feet. Officials fear water levels will go on to exceed those recorded in Paris’s 2016 flood, a disaster that led to the closure of several prominent tourist attractions and was considered the city’s worst flood since 1910, when a catastrophic flood left Paris underwater for months.
The entire region of Île-de-France is preparing for flooding, with rivers in the east and north also threatening to overflow. In areas under high alert, the public has been advised to limit travel and avoid getting too close to rivers.
“We are remaining extremely vigilant,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a statement.
For updated information from Paris’s Flood Forecasting Department, click here.
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