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Flooded River Seine reaches its peak at more than 19ft

The swelling river Seine has finally reached its peak at more than 19 feet today, after a weekend which saw 1,500 people forced out of their homes, more than 200 towns suffer water damage and parts of the Louvre close. 

The river rose to 19.2 feet (5.84 metres) early Monday,  more than 13ft above normal, causing continued headaches for commuters in Paris as well as people living near its overflowing banks.

The local flooding watchdog said the river would stay at its current level throughout the day before beginning to recede Tuesday, but experts say the clean-up in the French capital and surrounding areas will take weeks.

Peak: A picture taken late on Sunday evening shows the flooded Quai de Grenelle by the banks of the Seine river with the Eiffel Tower in the background

Heading back: A sign is partially submerged in the flooded banks of the Seine river as Parisians prepare for a lengthy mop-up

Heading back: A sign is partially submerged in the flooded banks of the Seine river as Parisians prepare for a lengthy mop-up

Tide is high: The famous Notre Dame Cathedral is seen on the banks of the flooded River Seine on Sunday night as locals hope that the waters will begin to recede on Tuesday 

Tide is high: The famous Notre Dame Cathedral is seen on the banks of the flooded River Seine on Sunday night as locals hope that the waters will begin to recede on Tuesday 

More favourable weather is expected for the week ahead, but even once the water levels start to recede forecasters and officials say it will be a slow process, as much of the ground in northern France is already waterlogged.

‘If we’re talking about things getting completely back to normal, that’s going to take weeks,’ said Jerome Goellner, regional head of environmental services.

The Seine has not quite reached the 2016 high of 6.1 metres, when priceless artworks had to be evacuated from the Louvre, but has caused serious damage to residents on its banks. 

Flooding: An aerial view of the Seine flood in the town of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges near Paris 

Flooding: An aerial view of the Seine flood in the town of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges near Paris 

Some 240 towns French towns near Paris have suffered damage as a result of the flooding over the weekend

Some 240 towns French towns near Paris have suffered damage as a result of the flooding over the weekend

The images show roads and vehicles submerged in water in the town near the French capital

The images show roads and vehicles submerged in water in the town near the French capital

This weekend, some 240 towns French towns have suffered damage as a result of the flooding and about 1,500 people have been forced to leave their homes.

In Villennes-sur-Seine, west of Paris, the ground floors of some buildings have disappeared underwater and residents are using boats instead of cars.

In Paris, cruise boat companies are suffering losses because all river traffic has been banned for days.

Police have also fined people taking to canoes on the Seine in central Paris, and sternly ordered others in a tweet against such actions, calling them ‘totally irresponsible’.    

Waterfront: A picture taken Sunday night shows the flooded banks of the Seine river near Notre-Dame Cathedral

Waterfront: A picture taken Sunday night shows the flooded banks of the Seine river near Notre-Dame Cathedral

The local flooding watchdog predicts that the River Seine, would stay at its current level throughout the day before beginning to recede tomorrow

The local flooding watchdog predicts that the River Seine, would stay at its current level throughout the day before beginning to recede tomorrow

The river had risen 4.3in over a period of 24 hours by Saturday evening, more than 13ft above its normal height

The river had risen 4.3in over a period of 24 hours by Saturday evening, more than 13ft above its normal height

Paris regional authorities say the floods have already caused damage in 240 towns as Paris itself suffers from the deluge, which has forced about 1,500 people to leave their homes and closed the ground floor of the Louvre

The Eiffel Tower is seen here in the background

Paris regional authorities say the floods have already caused damage in 240 towns as Paris itself suffers from the deluge, which has forced about 1,500 people to leave their homes and closed the ground floor of the Louvre. The Eiffel Tower is seen here in the background

In Paris (pictured Saturday evening), cruise boat companies are suffering losses because all river traffic has been banned for days

In Paris (pictured Saturday evening), cruise boat companies are suffering losses because all river traffic has been banned for days

Leaks started to appear in some basements in Paris on Friday, while some residents on the city's outskirts were forced to travel by boat through waterlogged streets. Pictured: The Eiffel tower and replica of the Statue of Liberty shown near the swollen Seine in Paris

In total around 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the greater Paris region, according to police, while around 1,500 homes were without electricity. Pictured: Parisians fishing in the swollen Seine 

In total around 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the greater Paris region, according to police, while around 1,500 homes were without electricity. Pictured right: Parisians fishing in the swollen Seine. Left: The Eiffel tower and replica of the Statue of Liberty shown near the swollen Seine in Paris

Paris regional authorities say the floods have already caused damage in 240 towns. In Villennes-sur-Seine west of Paris, the ground floor of some buildings has disappeared underwater and residents are using boats instead of cars. Pictured: Cafe 'Les Nautes' party submerged in the Seine 

Paris regional authorities say the floods have already caused damage in 240 towns. In Villennes-sur-Seine west of Paris, the ground floor of some buildings has disappeared underwater and residents are using boats instead of cars. Pictured: Cafe ‘Les Nautes’ party submerged in the Seine 

Police fined people who took a canoe Saturday into the Seine in central Paris, and sternly ordered others in a tweet against such actions, calling them 'totally irresponsible.' Pictured: A flooded street in Paris 

Police fined people who took a canoe Saturday into the Seine in central Paris, and sternly ordered others in a tweet against such actions, calling them ‘totally irresponsible.’ Pictured: A flooded street in Paris 

The statue The Zoave at Alma Bridge is up to its hips in water, along the rain-swollen River Seine, as water levels increase in Paris on Sunday

The statue The Zoave at Alma Bridge is up to its hips in water, along the rain-swollen River Seine, as water levels increase in Paris on Sunday

Swollen by weeks of heavy rains, the Seine River is expected to reach its peak in the French capital late Sunday or early Monday

Swollen by weeks of heavy rains, the Seine River is expected to reach its peak in the French capital late Sunday or early Monday

he Bateau Mouche cruise tourist line, out of commission, with no access and unable to go under the bridges. After many days and weeks of rain, the Seine has flooded

he Bateau Mouche cruise tourist line, out of commission, with no access and unable to go under the bridges. After many days and weeks of rain, the Seine has flooded

People cross a bridge over the swollen Seine river in Paris this weekend. A main commuter line, the RER C, has halted service at Paris stops until Wednesday, and some expressways that run alongside the Seine have been closed

People cross a bridge over the swollen Seine river in Paris this weekend. A main commuter line, the RER C, has halted service at Paris stops until Wednesday, and some expressways that run alongside the Seine have been closed

The French capital remains on high alert as the Seine continues to swell and the Louvre prepares to close its doors amid the third-wettest French winter in over a century.

The river had risen 4.3in over a period of 24 hours by Saturday evening, more than 13ft above its normal height, causing problems for commuters as well as people living near its overflowing banks.

Tourists suffered too with the capital’s famous Bateaux Mouches rivercraft out of service, and only emergency services authorised to navigate the Seine.

The Louvre museum has been on high alert all weekend, along with the Musee d’Orsay and Orangerie galleries, with the lower level of the Louvre’s Islamic arts wing closed to visitors.

A parking desk is partly submerged in central Paris after days of heavy rain. Cruise boat companies are suffering losses because all river traffic has been banned for days

A parking desk is partly submerged in central Paris after days of heavy rain. Cruise boat companies are suffering losses because all river traffic has been banned for days

Even once the water levels start to recede, forecasters and officials say it will be a slow process, since much of the ground in northern France is already waterlogged. Pictured: The bloated Seine on Sunday

Even once the water levels start to recede, forecasters and officials say it will be a slow process, since much of the ground in northern France is already waterlogged. Pictured: The bloated Seine on Sunday

A man fishes off a barrier partially submerged by the water of the swollen Seine

A tree is immersed in the water today

Left: A man fishes off a barrier partially submerged by the water of the swollen Seine. Right: A tree is immersed in the river

Signs and a walkway are submerged in the Seine after days of almost non-stop rain caused the river to rise to near-record levels 

Signs and a walkway are submerged in the Seine after days of almost non-stop rain caused the river to rise to near-record levels 

Leaks started to appear in some basements in Paris on Friday, while some residents on the city’s outskirts were forced to travel by boat through waterlogged streets.

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

Michel Delpuech, head of the Paris police body, told reporters that around 1,500 people had been moved out of homes in the Ile de France region comprising the French capital and its suburbs.

‘The waters will only go away slowly,’ added Delpuech. 

‘Due to the spread of flooding to different tributaries, the level of the Seine in Paris will continue rising again on the weekend,’ said Vigicrues, adding that the highest level would last for about 10 hours before slowly going down.

A health centre in Paris's northwestern suburbs, where 86 patients were receiving care, was also evacuated on Friday. Pictured: A submerged road in the capital 

A health centre in Paris’s northwestern suburbs, where 86 patients were receiving care, was also evacuated on Friday. Pictured: A submerged road in the capital 

A flooded street lamp is pictured next to the river Seine in Paris in Paris on Saturday night. Floodwaters were nearing their peak in Paris on Saturday, with the rain-swollen Seine River engulfing scenic quays and threatening wine cellars and museum basements

Water rushes past Alma bridge by the Zouave statue which is used as a measuring instrument during floods in the French capital

A flooded street lamp is pictured next to the river Seine in Paris in Paris on Saturday night (left). Floodwaters were nearing their peak in Paris on Saturday, with the rain-swollen Seine River engulfing scenic quays and threatening wine cellars and museum basements. Right: Water rushes past Alma bridge by the Zouave statue, which is used as a measuring instrument during floods

The extent of the rising water levels was evident from the Seine lapping half way up the Zouave statue of a Crimean soldier on the Pont de l’Alma bridge.

It was enough to worry Joao de Macedo, janitor at a residential building in Paris’s upscale 16th Arrondissement.

‘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.

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

Outside, where the river was nearly lapping the tyres of parked vehicles, a young woman said it was ‘great to see ducks instead of cars’.

The December-January period is now the third-wettest on record since data collection began in 1900, according to France’s meteorological service.

However, fears of flooding like that of 1910, which saw the Seine rise to 28ft, shutting down much of Paris’s basic infrastructure, appeared unfounded. 

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.

In the south of France, heavy rains caused a breach in the water supply pipe of a holding tank on an oil platform in La Mede, near Marseille, on Saturday, French giant Total said. Pictured: Children playing in the swollen river 

In the south of France, heavy rains caused a breach in the water supply pipe of a holding tank on an oil platform in La Mede, near Marseille, on Saturday, French giant Total said. Pictured: Children playing in the swollen river 

'If we're talking about things going completely back to normal, that's going to take weeks,' said Jerome Goellner, regional head of environmental services

‘If we’re talking about things going completely back to normal, that’s going to take weeks,’ said Jerome Goellner, regional head of environmental services

In Paris the Seine flows through a deep channel, limiting the potential flooding damage to riverside structures. But several areas on the city's outskirts are under water, such as the southern suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, where some residents were getting around by boat and dozens have been evacuated from their homes 

In Paris the Seine flows through a deep channel, limiting the potential flooding damage to riverside structures. But several areas on the city’s outskirts are under water, such as the southern suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, where some residents were getting around by boat and dozens have been evacuated from their homes 

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. Pictured: The swelling Seine 

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. Pictured: The swelling Seine 

Tourists suffered too with the capital's famous Bateaux Mouches rivercraft out of service, and only emergency services authorised to navigate the Seine

Tourists suffered too with the capital’s famous Bateaux Mouches rivercraft out of service, and only emergency services authorised to navigate the Seine

But even once the water levels start to recede, forecasters and officials say it will be a slow process, since much of the ground in northern France is already waterlogged.

‘If we’re talking about things going completely back to normal, that’s going to take weeks,’ said Jerome Goellner, regional head of environmental services.

A main commuter line, the RER C, has halted service at Paris stops until Wednesday, and some expressways that run alongside the Seine have been closed.

A ticket booth for sightseeing boats is partly submerged by the River Seine. Tourist trips on the river have been cancelled 

A ticket booth for sightseeing boats is partly submerged by the River Seine. Tourist trips on the river have been cancelled 

Residents of Paris take to the flooded River Seine in a dinghy

Parisians appear to have taken the flooding in their stride, including these people using a dinghy to make their way along the river

Parisians appear to have taken the flooding in their stride, including these people using a dinghy to make their way along the river

People living beside the Seine have been warned their wine cellars could be at risk from the flooding 

People living beside the Seine have been warned their wine cellars could be at risk from the flooding 

Some people took advantage of the floods to exercise their creativity. A photographer takes a picture of a model standing in the Seine 

Some people took advantage of the floods to exercise their creativity. A photographer takes a picture of a model standing in the Seine 

In Paris the Seine flows through a deep channel, limiting the potential flooding damage to riverside structures.

But several areas on the city’s outskirts are under water, such as the southern suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, where some residents were getting around by boat and dozens have been evacuated from their homes.

In the south of France, heavy rains caused a breach in the water supply pipe of a holding tank on an oil platform in La Mede, near Marseille, on Saturday, French giant Total said.

Contaminated water, not concentrated crude oil, had leaked, Total said in a statement. 



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