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.
Unusually heavy rains have engorged the Seine and other rivers in the region, forcing a halt to all boat traffic in Paris, including tourist cruises.
Some quay-side restaurants were submerged, and some roads and parks were closed as a precautionary measure – along with the bottom floor of the Louvre Museum.
A flooded street lamp is pictured next to the river Seine in Paris. The river has been swollen by recent heavy rainfall
A woman walks along a low wall on the flooded banks of the river. Some quayside restaurants have been submerged by the flooding
Parisians appear to have taken the flooding in their stride, including these people using a dinghy to make their way along the river
The water of the swollen river nearly comes up to the level of the quayside. People living beside the river have been told to remove valuables from cellars
The path by the River Seine is completely submerged leaving only a tree and a street light sticking out
Groundwater was also seeping into some Paris cellars, and authorities warned residents of some neighborhoods to remove any valuables.
However, authorities said Saturday that the flooding won’t be as bad as forecast earlier this week.
The river is expected to peak in Paris on Sunday at 19 ft, which is 8 in below the level reached in exceptional floods in 2016, and well below the 28 ft 2 in hit in record floods in 1910.
In normal times, the river measures about 4 ft, 11 in.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated along the Seine as floods caused significant damage in Paris suburbs in recent days, but no deaths or injuries have been reported.
Some people took advantage of the floods to exercise their creativity. A photographer takes a picture of a model standing in the Seine
People use a dinghy boat to reach a barge, which have been tied up as the water levels continue to rise
The floodwaters have affected a children’s playground by the River Seine. In normal times the water level is about 4 ft 11 in
Parisians seemed to be taking the high water and closures in stride.
Tourists took photos of water-covered embankments Saturday, as workers inspected water infiltrations on a road.
Meanwhile, fishermen – and a visiting flock of cormorants – took advantage of the rushing, boat-free river to look for lunch.
‘The flood of the Seine river can be interesting from a fishing perspective, because many fish approach more easily the river banks and the surface,’ said amateur fisherman Maxime Potier, an amateur fisherman casting his line from the Arsenal Port in eastern Paris.
‘I understand that people might fear the floods because of the strength of the current but here we are in a port, no current, so there is no fear.’