Seine still rising in Paris as streets flood, landmarks shut

Published 10:04 am Friday, June 3, 2016

PARIS — The swollen Seine River kept rising Friday, spilling into Paris streets and forcing one landmark after another to shut on Friday. Across the city, parks and cemeteries were being closed as the city braced for flooding that could take weeks to fully clear.

The Seine, which officials said was at its highest level in nearly 35 years, was expected to peak sometime later in the day. Authorities shut the Louvre museum, the national library, the Orsay museum, and the Grand Palais, Paris’ striking glass-and-steel topped exhibition center.

“We evaluate the situation for all the (cultural) buildings nearly hour-by-hour,” said Culture Minister Audrey Azouley, speaking to journalists outside the world-famous Louvre. “We don’t know yet the evolution of the level of the Seine River in Paris.”

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Nearly a week of heavy rain has led to serious flooding across a swathe of Europe, leaving 15 people dead and others missing.

Although the rain has tapered off in some areas, floodwaters are still climbing. Traffic in the French capital was snarled as flooding choked roads and several Paris railway stations were shut.