Photo: Ekaterina Pokrovsky/Shutterstock

The Seine River Is Threatening to Drown the Most Iconic Spots in Paris

Paris News
by Henry Miller Jan 27, 2018

Paris is looking at the worst flooding in a century after weeks of heavy rain. The rain has lifted the River Seine by nearly 13 feet in the course of a week, and the city’s Instagrammers are there to capture it.

The rising waters have forced the evacuation of at least 365 people, shut down the city zoo after the escape of 52 baboons, and is currently threatening the Louvre.

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The last time the Seine was this high was in 2016, when the river rose to 20 feet, or 14 feet above normal. The 2016 floods caused the deaths of two people and shut down several iconic monuments across the city, including the Louvre.

The museum, home to the Mona Lisa, was forced to move 35,000 pieces out of danger in 2016. While museum operators said that no water has gotten in yet, the museum has closed its Islamic art wing for the weekend.

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The river broke over its banks on Tuesday. Since then, the flooding has caused roads, bridges, tunnels, and the RER C train line to shut down. The city’s Metro service is still up and running, however.

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While tourists are having to forego romantic boating trips on the famous river, houseboat owners are concerned that their homes could be pushed over the banks.

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City Hall has raised the flood threat level to “orange,” the second highest on the scale, and asked residents to keep valuable belongings out of basements and avoid traveling near the river banks.

Parisian locals are well known to use the Zouave statue at the Alma Bridge to measure the severity of the flooding. The river is currently at the Zouave’s thigh, or about where it was in 2016. During the worst flood of the 20th century in 1910, the river reached the statue’s shoulders, or 22 feet above normal levels.

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