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Flood concerns for Britons holidaying in France

Published 03/06/2016

Boats on the flooded Loing Canal in St Mammes, where the Loing joins the Seine south of Paris (AP)
Boats on the flooded Loing Canal in St Mammes, where the Loing joins the Seine south of Paris (AP)

UK holidaymakers in France already battling transport disruption caused by industrial disputes face further misery as parts of the country were hit by severe flooding.

The Louvre Museum - one of the most visited tourist attractions in Paris - was closed on Friday to allow staff to move artwork at threat from rising water.

Blocked roads and the closure of several railway stations led to major congestion in the capital.

France's environment ministry said the Seine was at its highest level since 1982, leaving embankments near the Eiffel Tour flooded.

The Loire Valley in central France was also badly affected, with a large amount of flood water in front of the popular 16th century Chateau de Chambord castle.

President Francois Hollande said a "natural disaster" will be formally declared.

Many UK families in France for the half-term break were already struggling to get around amid industrial disputes which have crippled parts of the transport network since the government began pushing through labour reforms.

Blockades in towns and cities have led to fuel shortages, while state railway SNCF said 40% of the country's high speed trains were cancelled because of striking rail workers.

Ryanair cancelled 75 flights on Thursday as French air traffic controllers also took strike action.

The Dublin-based airline said it was the 50th such strike since 2009 and the ninth in the past 10 weeks.

Thousands of football fans from the UK are due to travel across the Channel in the coming days to support England, Wales or Northern Ireland at the Euro 2016 football tournament.

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