Paris on alert as River Seine breaks banks and keeps on rising

The River Seine in Paris has flooded and water levels just keep going up.

Paris on alert as River Seine breaks banks and keeps on rising
File pic: Beginning of January 2018/ AFP
The river's water levels are now at 4.33 metres at the Pont d'Austerlitz in the city's 5th arrondissment. 
The city remains on yellow alert — the third highest warning — for flooding, according to the environment ministry's Vigicrues flood watch website, and the walkways next to the river banks have also been closed. 
As for the famous tourist boats, the Bateaux-Mouches, they are no longer sailing, leaving scores of tourists disappointed. 
“We have given our customers who made reservations this Sunday evening the opportunity to dine if they wish. For the rest, we do not know yet how long the closure will last,” reported an employee of the company. 
During the floods of 2016, the boats were closed for a week. 
By comparison, during that flood the River Seine reached 6.10 metres. And in the “flood of the century” in 1910 water levels reached 8.62 metres. 
For the time being, firefighters and the police remain vigilant but with rain forecast for much of the day in Paris and the surrounding region, water levels are due to rise further.
This isn't the first time this month that Paris has contended with rising flood waters. 
The River Seine also flooded after Storm Eleanor, with water levels doubling from 1.6 metres to 3.2 metres in just one week.
And Paris isn't the only place in France currently on alert for flooding, with flood warnings extended across the country on Monday morning.

France weather latest: Flood warnings extended as downpours continuePhoto: AFP


South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.