Here's what travelers need to know.

Cailey Rizzo
January 24, 2018

Paris is on alert as the city prepares for one of the biggest floods in recent history.

City hall issued an orange alert, the second highest flood warning, telling residents and visitors to exercise extreme caution when traveling along the Seine.

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Water levels of the Seine were marked on Tuesday at about 16 feet. They are expected to peak at about 19.5 feet on Saturday, a deputy mayor of Paris announced. The Seine’s normal water levels hover around 6.5 feet.

C’est par là #crue #seine #crueseine

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Travelers who are visiting Paris this week may have to reschedule plans. The Bateaux-Mouches, the boats that take tourists up and down the Seine, have temporarily suspended service. All roads and walkways directly along the river have been closed.

In anticipation of the flood, some parts of the Paris Metro have shut down. A section of the RER C line — with service to Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (Notre Dame Cathedral), Invalides, the Musée d’Orsay and Champ de Mars (the garden in front of the Eiffel Tower) — is closed.

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The flood will also affect museums alongside the Seine. The lower level of the Louvre’s Islamic Art collection will remain closed through at least Sunday. The Musée d'Orsay, the Musée du quai Branly, the National Library, and the Petit Palais are also preparing flood contingency plans.

The flood was caused by heavier-than-average rains this season. Since December 1, 2017, Paris received more than 7.2 inches of rain, which is double what the city normally receives, according to Le Monde.

While flood levels may surpass those of recent history (a flood in 2016 reached more than 20 feet), the water levels pale in comparison to Paris’s most famous flood. The 1910 “flood of a century” transformed Paris into a “temporary Venice” when water levels rose more than 28 feet. Residents paddled down the streets in boats to navigate the city.

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