Heavy rains in recent days have caused rising rivers, causing flood risks in many French departments. On Tuesday evening, 26 of them were placed on orange alert by Meteo France. In Paris, a crisis cell was convened by the mayor and residents are advised to avoid the Seine.
The levels of the Seine and the Rhine continued to rise on Tuesday, forcing authorities to take precautionary measures in Paris and Strasbourg, while 26 departments were on orange alert for flood risks.
The flood of the Seine in the capital could reach or slightly exceed by the end of the week the peak of 6.10m in 2016, depending on rainfall, according to various state services.
Tuesday afternoon, the level was measured at 4.90 metres at Austerlitz bridge, according to the Town Hall. The RER C line will be closed on Wednesday in the capital at least until Friday.
In view of the Seine flood forecasts, Paris and several departments of Ile-de-France were placed in orange alert this Tuesday afternoon.
“In Paris, we do not expect significant consequences outside the banks, the consequences should be the same as in 2016”, commented Jérôme Goellner However, head of state services in charge of the Environment in the region (DRIEE).
Rainfall in question
“It is especially upstream” and the downstream consequences may be more damaging, similar to 2016, according to Jean-Marc Dolmiere, deputy director of the monitoring body of water Vigicrues course.
At the root of this situation, the rainfall in the upstream of the Paris basin, the Yonne, the Marne …
“These regions have taken a lot of water these last seven days, knowing that the soil was already saturated,” says Mr. Dolmiere. “The water rises upstream of the Marne, then it starts to go down, and joined the Seine”.
Of “significant excesses” were also reported Tuesday on the basin of the Seine in particular upstream of the Marne, and the Yonne, according to Vigicrues that scans 22,000 km of rivers – complex operation conducted through “scales relative” , the most famous installed at Austerlitz bridge.
“The situation is serious but there is no need to agonize unduly today” , commented the Secretary of State Ecological Transition Poirson Brown, while his colleague Sébastien Lecornu called for “prudence”.
A crisis meeting in the town hall of Paris
Like the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who met on Tuesday the “crisis cell” of the City, with the operators concerned (Enedis, GrDF, Eau de Paris, RATP, SNCF, etc.). “We remain extremely vigilant”, she said, calling for people to avoid the Seine and some parks.
The Louvre, Orsay, which as in 2016 has had to put its reserves at the shelter, said that it was “very vigilant”: “We commence our flood risk prevention plan when the Seine reaches 5.08 m”.
A total of 26 departments were on orange alert for flood risk by late Tuesday afternoon, mainly on an axis from Normandy to Alsace, but around the Rhone and Garonne.
A raw “moderate” is being on the Rhone downstream of Lyon. In the northeast, “levels remain high in many rivers, especially on the Maas and the Rhine” and Ognon also experiencing flooding “significant” .
The plant PSA Sochaux stopped
In the East, shipping on the Rhine was stopped on Tuesday, said the prefecture. The flood peak was expected at Strasbourg at 4pm, according to the department.
The flood was caused by rain and melting snow, forcing authorities Tuesday to complete a 600-ha polder south of Strasbourg, to retain the water.
At 11 am, the river flow was 3,684 m3 / s and its height to 4.82 m in Kehl-Kronenhof station against Strasbourg. A rate close to that of the flood in June 2013 (3 770 m3 / s), but far from the episode of May 1999 (4750 m3 / s).
In Sochaux, the PSA plant must remain stopped Tuesday afternoon because of flood at the supplier of exhaust pipes, we have learned from a union source.
In red alert on Monday after overflow of rivers, Loue and Doubs Montbéliard reached its flood peak. This should also be the case in Besançon in the evening with risk of flooding docks and car parks.