France flood emergency eases, but water levels still high
Saturday, June 4, 2016, 8:53 PM - France's flood emergency is subsiding somewhat, as the water levels of the rain-swollen Seine in the capital Paris began receding on Saturday.
The BBC reports the river reached a level of 6.1 m above normal overnight into Saturday -- the highest in 34 years -- before dropping somewhat during the day.
Now French authorities say river levels are expected to remain relatively stable over the weekend before dropping further, though Paris remains at its second-highest alert level.
At one point, the water rose so thoroughly that the Louvre was forced to close so that staff could move some of its art and artifacts to safety.
Throughout the city, infrastructure was damaged, metro lines were flooded and rail travel was disrupted, with disruption continuing through the weekend.
Western and central Europe have been pummelled with intense rains due to storms passing through the region, with flood emergencies in several places aside from Paris.
The storms, and the ensuing floods, have killed at least four people in France, while in Germany the death toll is at 11. Fatalities have also been reported in Romania and Belgium, and thousands of people have been displaced across the region.
In Germany, more than 70 people were injured by lightning on Friday evening, forcing the temporary suspension of a major rock festival attended by 90,000 people.