Monday 18 December 2017

Grand Palais reopens as Paris flood waters recede

Flood waters have started to recede in Paris
Flood waters have started to recede in Paris

The riverside Grand Palais exhibition hall in Paris has reopened as flood waters slowly receded from the French capital.

The Louvre Museum, several Paris train stations and roads remained closed after the worst floods in three decades caused the Seine River to burst its banks. Quayside restaurants were partially flooded and tourist boats were unable to pass under bridges.

The glass-topped Grand Palais, built for the 1900 World's Fair and currently hosting an exhibit by avant-garde Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping among several others, opened again after closing on Friday because of flood risks.

Elsewhere, emergency crews were pumping water out of a key Paris road interchange and evacuating cars trapped for days on a road south of the capital.

After a week of exceptionally heavy rains around Europe, at least 18 people have been killed in flooding in Germany, France, Romania and Belgium. New thunderstorms are forecast for eastern France on Sunday and more rain elsewhere, and more than 11,000 French homes are still without electricity.

The Seine River level peaked Saturday in Paris, and the national flood service said it would remain about 4 metres (more than 13 feet) above normal on Sunday. Authorities warn it will take up to 10 days for the river to return to normal.

The flood risks along the Seine are moving downstream after forcing thousands out of their homes and houseboats earlier this week. West of Paris, it overflowed around the medieval city of Rouen overnight, but the local administration said Sunday the damage was "localized and limited" and severe flood warnings for the area were lifted.

German authorities on Sunday pulled the plug on the Rock am Ring music festival west of Frankfurt after a new storm warning was issued. Late on Friday, a lightning storm sent 70 people from the festival to the hospital.

Press Association

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