Europe

Paris floods: Seine set to peak as more rain forecast

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFloodwaters have forced the Louvre to close and move its precious artworks, as James Reynolds reports

Floodwaters in Paris continue to rise with the River Seine due to hit a peak of up to 6.5m (21ft) later on Friday.

The world-famous Louvre and Orsay museums have been closed so staff can move priceless artworks to safety.

The number of dead in the floods has now risen to at least 15 - 10 in southern Germany, two each in France and Romania and one in Belgium.

More downpours are forecast for the weekend across a band of central Europe from France to Ukraine.

Several towns in southern Germany have been devastated. Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and Poland have also been affected.

Thousands of people have been forced from their homes.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Artworks are packed away for safe-keeping at the Louvre

French President Francois Hollande said the weather was a serious climate phenomenon and a global challenge.

He is to declare a state of natural disaster in the worst-hit areas, which will free up emergency funds.

In Paris, emergency barriers have been put up along the Seine, a number of bridges have been closed and tourists boats have been banned from sailing on the river.


The current floods are eclipsed by the 1910 floods that saw Paris submerged for two months.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption During the 1910 floods, engineers built wooden walkways for people to navigate flooded streets

The Seine - which has risen to six metres - has not reached current levels in Paris since 1982, according to the environment ministry.

It previously reached 6.18m in 1982, 7.1m in 1955 and 8.62m in 1910.

It is expected to reach at least 6.3m this evening local time and 6.5m in a "worst-case scenario", the ministry said, with the water level remaining at those levels throughout the weekend.


Another headache for Hollande - Analysis by Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris

Trains operating at only 50%, strikes on the metro, floods on the Seine, the Louvre closed, violent protests against the government's labour law, fears for the Euro 2016 football tournament - the list goes on.

If it wasn't an insufferable cliche, one would be tempted to call it Francois Hollande's "perfect storm". It is certainly not the perfect spring he would have liked.

Any self-help expert will tell you the best way to handle a concatenation of problems is to treat them one by one - and that is what the president is doing.

The waters will subside on their own. By Monday this will be an ex-story. For the rest, Mr Hollande is going through the list of disgruntled workers who have joined the labour protests - and buying them off.

The most glaring example is how he has now gone over the head of the SNCF (railways) boss to offer workers more or less all they were asking. It may buy peace for Euro 2016. It is probably not the best way to run an economy.


Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBBC Weather's Darren Bett looks at the rain and flooding across Europe

Rail operator SNCF has closed a line that runs alongside the Seine in central Paris.

More than 5,000 people have been evacuated from towns in central France since the weekend and 19,000 homes are without power, the AFP news agency reports.

The French Open tennis tournament, meanwhile, could be forced to extend into a third week.

Image caption Flood-hit areas in France and Germany

Germany 'mourning'

In southern Germany some people remain missing.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country was in mourning for those who had lost their lives.

The worst incident was in Bavaria, where three women were found drowned in the basement of their house.

In Belgium, the body of a beekeeper in his 60s was found on Friday morning. He was caught in floodwaters while trying to protect his hives, the Associated Press reported.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In Bavaria, the waters engulfed streets

Are you in France or Germany and been affected by the floods? Or run a business or project which has closed due to flood damage? How are your family and neighbours coping?

If you have an experience you would like to share, or pictures of the flooding where you are, then share it with us in the following ways:

Email us at haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Send pictures/video to

Upload your pictures / video here

Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay

Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100

Contact us on WhatsApp number +44 (0)7525 900971

Text us on 61124 or +44 7624 800 100 if you are outside the UK

Or use the form below

Your contact details

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

More on this story