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Paris begins to shut down due to record flooding

Ludovic Marin | AFP

The Seine River has risen to 17 meters, more than twice the average height

The City of Lights has begun to shut down after prolonged downpours have swollen the River Seine. Forbes reports Paris and its surrounding regions have received more than 90 millimeters of rainfall in January, almost twice the average. The Seine, which normally sits about two meters high, was recorded at four meters Tuesday morning and is expected to rise to 5 meters by the end of Wednesday. By Friday it is expected to reach up to six meters, before it finally subsides.

The saturated streets have made it difficult to navigate the city and have led to a shutdown of public transportation in the areas around the river. The Local Fr reports that National train operator SNCF has closed several metro stations, “in order to guarantee the safety of the passengers and facilities.” The closed stations serve several tourist attractions, including Notre Dame cathedral and the Musee d’Orsay. These stations will likely be closed until at least Friday.

Paris’ famed art museums the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay are busy relocating their exhibits  to safer areas in the galleries. For the Louvre, this is a particularly grueling task, as they currently have 150,000 pieces located in areas at risk of flooding.

The city of Paris has officially been put on “Orange Alert,” their second highest state of emergency. Residents are being cautioned to remain vigilant while approaching the waters and are being urged to stay in doors.

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