France – 1,000 Evacuated in Paris Region as Seine Overflows

Police in Paris say that flooding along the River Seine has affected 240 communes in the suburbs and outskirts of the French capital over the last few days.

Stretches of the river first overflowed in Paris on Tuesday, 23 January.  Since then the river has crept higher, affecting wider areas around the Paris region.

In a press statement of 27 January, 2018, Michel Delpuech, head of the Préfecture de police Paris, said that around 1,000 people had evacuated their homes including 358 in Val de Marne, 214 in Essonne, 154 in Seine et Marne and 105 in Yvelines.

Some patients have also been evacuated from medical establishments, including 94 in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges and 78 in Meulan Les Mureaux.

Last week Paris authorities shut down roads, river traffic and parts of the city’s rail network in the face of rising levels of the Seine. A lower level of the Louvre was closed to visitors over the weekend.

A map of vulnerable areas in central areas of the city provided by the government of Paris is available here.

Map of potential flood areas in central Paris during high levels of Seine, January 2018. Image: Government of Paris

River Levels

Days of heavy rain on the back of one of the wettest winters on record increased river levels in northern and eastern areas of France, including the Seine in Paris.

As of midday 24 January, the Seine at Austerlitz Bridge in Paris stood at 5.22. As of early Monday, 29 January it stood at 5.88 metres (with a slight discrepancy between ultrasound (5.85m) and other measurements).

Levels of the Seine at Austerlitz Bridge, Paris, January 2018. As of 29 Janaury levels remained below those reached during the floods of May / June 2016. Image; Vigicrues, France

Water levels are not expected to increase much more, although they will remain high for some time and are not expected to begin receding until Tuesday at the earliest.

The flood threat currently stretches from east of Paris along the Marne river, a tributary of the Seine, through Paris and northwards along the Seine through Rouen and on to the Normandy coast.

Levels of the Seine downstream of Paris are expected to rise over the coming days.

Photos of the swollen Seine river in Paris below by Julien Colin under CC BY-NC 2.0

Swollen Seine river, Paris, January 2018. Photo: Julien Colin
The Zouave Du Pont De L’Alma in the swollen Seine river, January 2018. Photo: Julien Colin
Swollen Seine river, Paris, January 2018. Photo: Julien Colin

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