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Seine water levels decrease after Paris flooding peaks

Published 04/06/2016

A man stands in the flooded street in underwear as the city is flooded due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France, on June 01, 2016.AFP/Getty Images
A man stands in the flooded street in underwear as the city is flooded due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France, on June 01, 2016.AFP/Getty Images
People stand next to flooded railway tracks on June 1, 2016 in Souppes-sur-Loing, southeast of Paris. AFP/Getty Images
A fence bearing a sign reading ' closed street, flood' is pictured in a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages.KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
City employees walk in a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Nemours. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
People chat in a flooded street in Nemours on June 1, 2016. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
People walk next to a pneumatic in a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Nemours. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
People paddle in a boat in a flooded street in Nemours on June 1, 2016. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
Picture taken on June 1, 2016 in Saint-Denis-en-Val, central France, shows a flooded street after heavy rains. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANTGUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
The flooded Vert Galant park is pictured from the Pont Neuf bridge after the banks of the river Seine became flooded following heavy rainfalls on June 1, 2016 in Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOTFRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images
The flooded expressway by the river Seine is pictured near the Pont Neuf bridge (Rear) after its banks became flooded following heavy rainfalls on June 1, 2016 in Paris. AFP/Getty Images
A man walks in a flooded street on June 1, 2016, in Saint-Denis-en-Val, central France, after heavy rains. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANTGUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
Submerged cars are pictured in a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Nemours, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
People access a tourist crusing barge on Quai de Conti using a small boat, after the banks of the river Seine became flooded following heavy rainfalls on June 1, 2016 in Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOTFRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images
People paddle in a craft in a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Nemours. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages.KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
Women cross a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Nemours, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A man pulls a small boat transporting inhabitants in a flooded street of Nemours, on June 1, 2016. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
A rescuer is lifted down from a helicopter of the Securite Civile, France's civil defence agency, to reach stranded residents following floods on June 1, 2016 in Nemours, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP/Getty Images
A man pulls a dinghy as he evacuates residents accross a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Souppes-sur-Loing, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers evacuate residents onto a dinghy accross a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Souppes-sur-Loing, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
A rescuer evacuates a boy accross a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Souppes-sur-Loing, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
Chickens wait to be evacuated onto a dinghy accross a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Souppes-sur-Loing, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
A rescuer is lifted back into a helicopter of the Securite Civile, France's civil defence agency, after assisting stranded residents following floods on June 1, 2016 in Nemours, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers evacuate residents onto a dinghy through a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Souppes-sur-Loing, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
This handout picture released by the Domaine national de Chambord shows flooded gardens at the Chateau de Chambord (the Castle of Chambord) on June 1, 2016 in Chambord as torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany. In Paris, the river Seine burst over walkways, while in northern and central France, homes and cars were wrecked as flooding left several towns and villages under a metre or more of water. More than 80 roads across France had to be closed. / AFP PHOTO / Domaine national de Chambord / A. Leboutey / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / DOMAINE NATIONAL DE CHAMBORD / A. LEBOUTEY" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS A. LEBOUTEY/AFP/Getty Images
This handout picture released by the Domaine national de Chambord shows a flooded area in front of the Chateau de Chambord (the Castle of Chambord) on June 1, 2016 in Chambord as torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany. AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters help a woman to disembark a boat as the city is flooded due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France, on June 01, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters rescue inhabitants on their boat as they search for people as the city is flooded due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France, on June 01, 2016. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANTGUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters stand by their boat as the city is flooded due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France, on June 01, 2016. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANTGUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
Residents with the help of rescueworkers cross a flooded street in Nemours, southeast of Paris, on June 1, 2016. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
People stand next to flooded railway tracks on June 1, 2016 in Souppes-sur-Loing, southeast of Paris. Getty Images
This picture taken on June 1, 2016 shows a flooded street due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANTGUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
A man stands in the flooded street as the city is flooded due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France, on June 01, 2016. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANTGUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
This picture taken on June 1, 2016 shows a flooded street due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANTGUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters set up their vehicule as the city is flooded due to heavy rainfalls at Montargis, central France, on June 01, 2016. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANTGUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A resident walks accross a flooded street on June 1, 2016 in Nemours, southeast of Paris. Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving four dead in Germany, breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

The Seine River peaked early on Saturday around Paris, hitting its highest level in nearly 35 years with the death toll from flooding in France rising to four.

Its level reached almost 4.5 metres (15ft) above average and authorities warned it could take up to 10 days for the river to return to normal.

It will take at least four days before tourists in the French capital get a chance once more to view art at the world-class Louvre museum.

Curators there have been scrambling to move 250,000 artworks upstairs, away from basement storage areas at risk of flooding.

The Louvre, home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, said it will not reopen until Wednesday, while the Orsay Museum, known for its impressionist art, was closed at least through the weekend.

Other Paris landmarks shut down due to flooding include the national library and the Grand Palais, Paris's striking glass-and-steel topped exhibition centre.

Nearly a week of heavy rain has led to serious flooding across parts of France, Germany, Romania and Belgium.

The death toll from French flooding rose to four, with 24 others injured, said French prime minister Manuel Valls after a government crisis centre meeting.

Mr Valls did not elaborate, but that brings the total death toll across Europe from two weeks of flooding to 18.

Mr Valls said the water level of the Seine is now falling "slowly but steadily" in Paris and added several ministerial meetings next week will make sure quick financial help is provided to those affected.

He also urged Paris visitors and residents "to observe safety precautions" since many have been walking along the Seine's overflowing banks to observe the rare phenomena.

Even as the waters start to recede in Paris, transportation problems remained.

Several train and subway stations were shut down in the city centre due to the flooding and Paris drivers still faced major problems due to flooded roads.

The French energy company Enedis said over 17,000 homes were still without electricity on Saturday in the Paris region and central France.

One of the Seine's tributaries had not seen water levels this high since 1910, when the Great Flood of Paris swamped the capital.

France's meteorological service said high flood alerts remained in effect in 14 regions, mostly in central and western France, including Paris.

Although the rain tapered off in some areas, there was a chance of floods over the weekend downstream along the Seine in Normandy.

Boats and barges docked in Paris were being carefully watched to ensure none would cast off their moorings.

Nicolas Hainsohn, a boathouse resident on the Seine, said the situation was usual but added "it's just water."

"We are used to this. We've seen it once or twice," he said.

"It's tricky to dock, because you need to follow the water flow, you have to be careful, otherwise you can hit the river bank."

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