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Heavy Flooding Hits Paris, France as River Seine Rises to 19 Feet

30 January 2018

Water levels are expected to remain high all week, as more rain is expected to worsen an already waterlogged soil, and towns downstream from Paris are expected to be affected in the coming days.

A total 1,500 people in Ile-de-France were evacuated from their homes on Sunday, while a further 1,500 households in the eastern part of the region were without power early on Monday.

The river had risen 11cm (4.3 inches) in 24 hours by Saturday evening, more than four metres above its normal height, causing problems for commuters and residents near its overflowing banks.

"There are six studios in the basement, and we've had to set up blocks outside to keep the windows from breaking and covering everything in water", he said.

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

Paris is on alert as the swollen Seine continues to creep higher, with forecasters expecting the flooding to peak at the end of the weekend.

A statue of an Algerian French army soldier from the Crimean War named Zouave that has guarded the river at the Pont d'Alma bridge in central Paris since 1910 was drenched up to the thighs in the muddy waters.

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Inside the studios, tables and dressers have been lifted off the floor as water seeps through the walls, the agency says.

Tourists also suffered with the capital's famous Bateaux Mouches rivercraft out of service, and only emergency services authorized to navigate the waterway.

A health centre in the north-western suburbs, where 86 patients were receiving care, was evacuated on Friday.

Meteo France, the national weather service, said December and January have been the third wettest on record since 1900.

Within Paris, the Seine runs in a deep channel which limits the effects of the rising waters.

The water levels have not approached the 1910 flood, when the Seine rose to 28 feet.

Several areas on the city's outskirts are under water, and some residents are getting around by boat while dozens have been evacuated from their homes.

Heavy Flooding Hits Paris, France as River Seine Rises to 19 Feet