NEWS

Paris Flood Water Reaches Highest Level For More Than 30 Years

...But it could take 10 days to recede completely.

04/06/2016 11:13 | Updated 06 June 2016

Flood waters in Paris are starting recede, French authorities have said, after the they rose to their highest for nearly 35 years overnight, plunging the city into chaos.

But there have been warnings it could take 10 days for the river to come back to its normal levels after the Seine River rose to six metres above average levels, The Associated Press reports.

The French capital's famously romantic tree-lined riverside walkways were inundated with water, which reached streets as well.

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A family visits the flooded banks
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A Chinese couple has a wedding photograph taken on the flooded banks of the Seine river

President Francois Hollande called the flooding "exceptional". 

The water forced the Orsay museum, the country's national library, the Grand Palais and the iconic Louvre Museum to shut. The Louvre moved more than 250,000 art works to higher floors to avoid the rising water.

BERTRAND GUAY via Getty Images
The Zouave statue of the Alma bridge flooded by the river
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Plastic boxes containing artworks are placed for safe-keeping in an exhibition hall at the Musee de Louvre

The flood level was six metres above normal level, not seen since 1982. The all time record is 8.62 metres during floods in 1910.

"We're now in the stabilisation phase, even if we could still get one or two centimetres more," said Bruno Janet, from the country's environment ministry.

The city's tourist attractions remain closed. The Louvre is expected to remain closed until at least Wednesday and the Orsay will remained closed all weekend.

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Two people use a canoe on a flooded street in the town of Moret sur Loing south of Paris

Some metro stations were closed as flood water spilled out on to the city's streets.

Floods due to heavy rains have inundated parts of France, Germany and Belgium this week.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said four people had died and 24 were injured in the flooding in France.

Over 17,000 homes were still without electricity Saturday in the Paris region and centre of France.

French insurance companies are expected to have to pay out around £470 million over the damage.

The floods follow widespread strikes in France against labour reform law, that disrupted travel and later forced EasyJet and other carriers to cancel flights from Britain to the country.

Many UK families in France for the half-term break were already struggling to get around amid industrial disputes which have crippled parts of the transport network since the government began pushing through labour reforms.

Blockades in towns and cities have led to fuel shortages, while state railway SNCF said 40% of the country’s high speed trains were cancelled because of striking rail workers.

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The flooded banks of the river Seine in front of the Eiffel tower, pictured on Friday evening
  • Pascal Rossignol / Reuters
    A man walks on a flooded road near his houseboat moored near the Eiffel towel during flooding on the banks of the Seine River in Paris.
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    A dog plays on the overflowing river Seine.
  • Eric Bouvet via Getty Images
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    A firefighter swims through the river Seine to help to secure boats fixed at the overflowing banks in Paris.
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  • Pascal Rossignol / Reuters
    The feet of the Zouave statue on the Pont de l'Alma are covered by the rising waters from the Seine River after days of rainy weather in Paris, The Zouave statue is considered an indicator of the level of the Seine, when his feet are under water, emergency flood precautions are taken.
  • Jacky Naegelen / Reuters
    Men paddle towards a houseboat.
  • Christian Hartmann / Reuters
    French firefighters on a small boat evacuate residents from a flooded area in Longjumeau, southern Paris.
  • Christian Hartmann / Reuters
  • Thierry Orban via Getty Images
  • Eric Bouvet via Getty Images
  • Eric Bouvet via Getty Images
  • BERTRAND GUAY via Getty Images
    A man fishes on the flooded banks of the river Seine.
  • JOEL SAGET via Getty Images
    A car is submerged by the waters.
  • Thierry Orban via Getty Images
    Water rises above Bridge Pont Mirabeau as the Seine river's embankments overflow.
  • Jerome Delay/AP
    With the Louvre museum in the background, Firemen patrol the flooding Seine river.
  • Jerome Delay/AP
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    An information sheet informs about the closing of the Musee de Louvre.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Plastic boxes placed between sculptures as artworks are packed to be moved from the exhibition hall.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Plastic boxes containing artworks are placed for safe-keeping in an exhibition hall at the Musee de Louvre which is closed and tourists being turned away.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Plastic boxes containing artworks are placed for safe-keeping between sculptures in an exhibition hall.
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