Floodwaters along swollen Seine peak in Paris, threaten Normandy

Seine swells even higher keeping Paris on alert

Seine swells even higher keeping Paris on alert

That would be below the 20 feet reached in exceptional floods in 2016, and well below the 28 feet hit in record floods in 1910.

Large numbers of people have been evacuated from the banks of Seine as floods continue to cause heavy damage to Paris suburbs. But they warned that it will take more than a week for the river to reach "classic levels" for the season.

The swollen Seine river in Paris has now peaked at 5.84 metres, four metres higher than its normal level.

Over a 24-hour period the river rose 4.3in to more than 13ft its normal height over the weekend.

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.

At the Louvre, a lower level housing Islamic artwork was closed to visitors.

The Seine's water level will remain high for several days as grounds and lakes are saturated.

A statue of a French soldier from the Crimean War- known as The Zouave - on the Pont de l'Alma has always been used as a marker for water levels in the city.

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

The city's famous Bateaux Mouches tourist boats are out of service, with only emergency services allowed to use the river.

The national weather service Meteo France said Monday that January has seen almost double normal rainfall nationwide, and that the rains in the past two months are the highest measured for the period in 50 years.

However, fears of flooding like that seen in 1910, which saw the Seine rise to 8.62m and shut down much of Paris's basic infrastructure, appeared unfounded.

Weeks of rainfall have come to end but it'll take another week for the water level to fully recede.

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

"In the South of the French capital, dozens of coastal buildings were flooded with water, disconnected electricity, and about a thousand residents had to be evacuated", - said in the message.

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