Remembering the day where the city of Paris witnessed one of the worst natural disasters in its modern history, the government of France is preparing the people of its capital and nearby regions to expect the Seine to rise again. As announced at the beginning of the week, experts estimate that the river could reach this time heights of about 19 to 20 feet (8 inches, 6 meters), between Saturday and Sunday. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries have been reported. However, about 400 residents have evacuated their homes.
Although the estimation that the Vigicrues flooding agency is 20 feet below the peaks the Seine reached two years ago, and 28 feet below the record height it hit in the 1910 Great Flood, hundreds of people have already been affected by the water and evacuated the areas.
Commonly, the Seine measures around 4 feet – or 11 inches and 1.5 meters.
This event has affected not only the Parisians but also the citizens living in the regions where the Seine also passes through.
Even the boats frequented mostly by tourists have had to stop offering services because they cannot navigate under the bridges anymore. Thus, making authorities to suspend the river traffic.
Authorities have also stopped land traffic because the roads nearby the Seine River are covered by the flooding – thus, even affecting commercial establishments.
The Louvre is not the only museum that has taken critical measures. But although it is the most impacted, the Musee d’Orsay and the Orangerie announced they had activated high alerts too.
The Department of Islamic Art is located on the lower floor, the one that the Louvre closed for the spectators at least until Sunday.
In 2016, the same museum had to close for four days and move around 35,000 artworks to safer places due to that year floods.
“Since then, a large number of reserve collections has been packed to ensure their rapid evacuation in the event of flooding, and staff has also been trained,” the Louvre said in a statement.
Residents evacuating due to the flood
Despite the fact that central Paris has been under a lot of pressure due to the Seine, this river flows through deep channels. Thus, riverside structures don’t receive as much damage as other areas do.
As in the previous flooding, the impact that people from the outskirts areas have experienced this week is impressive. Some citizens have even had to use boats to get around, while other dozens have had to leave their houses and seek safer places.
Located further to the south basin of the Seine River, authorities from the Yonne department said they saw “significant flooding,” and advised resident to avoid any tragedy by following the due measures – like removing any valuables or taking children out of the area.
Likewise, people from the eastern towns of Chalon-sur-Saone and Macon have also been alerted because the Saone River is also expected to rise and provoke flooding.
All the people that have had to evacuate their homes have been moved into government and church-run shelters.
Experts estimated that the period between December and January is the third wettest, according to the data they have been collected since 1990.
However, not everyone is sad about the Seine rising. Fishers have taken advantage, and are enjoying the immensity of fish that’s arriving at where they are.
“The flood of the Seine River can be interesting from a fishing perspective, because many fish approach more easily the river banks and the surface,” said Maxime Potier, an amateur fisherman casting his line from the Arsenal Port in eastern Paris. “I understand that people might fear the floods because of the strength of the current but here we are in a port, no current, so there is no fear.”
The Great Flood as an example
Parisians proved their greatness when they faced the Great Flood, one year before World War I.
In the midst of polarized politics, conflicts of classes, and religious tensions, the people of the France’s capital decided to join together and help one to another.
They allowed residents who had to evacuate into their homes and offered donations and shelter.
This 1910 Paris flooding is today an example of future similar events. To help lower the level, there are significant reservoirs upstream on the Seine that can drain out the water of the river’s channel.
To further understand what officials could do if the 1910 event happens again, experts have also use the technology to recreate the worst of the scenarios.
Source: USA Today