French towns swim in rising floodwaters

French towns swim in rising floodwaters

Paris - The Seine's waters were set to peak later on Sunday or early on Monday close to levels which led to similar flooding in 2016



By AFP, AP

Published: Sun 28 Jan 2018, 10:36 PM

Last updated: Mon 29 Jan 2018, 12:51 AM

Nearly 1,500 people have been evacuated from homes in the Paris region, with authorities on alert for any major flood risk after the levels of the swollen River Seine rose further on Sunday.
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.
The Seine's waters were set to peak later on Sunday or early on Monday close to levels which led to similar flooding in 2016, authorities said.
The overflowing waters have already engulfed riverside walkways in Paris and led the world-famous Louvre museum to close a basement display of Islamic art.
Paris's "Bateaux Mouches" tourist boats have been shut down due to the high waters while swans have been seen swimming where there are usually pavements and rats forced up onto the streets.
Flooding caused destruction in Paris in 1910 when the Seine rose by 8.65 metres, although no deaths were recorded there.
More than 200 French towns are struggling against floodwaters that have halted boat traffic in Paris, closed roads and schools and prompted the evacuation of hospitals.
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.
In Paris, cruise boat companies are suffering losses because all river traffic has been banned for days.


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