Louvre moving some artwork as floodwaters rise in Paris

Updated 1:47 AM EDT, Fri June 3, 2016
01:17 - Source: CNN
Paris flooding is declared a natural disaster

Story highlights

State of natural disaster to be declared in worst affected areas of France

Rains are forecast to continue through the weekend

CNN —  

Some artworks at the Louvre in Paris will be moved to protect them from possible flooding after the Seine burst its banks following days of torrential rain.

The works in vulnerable locations will be evacuated to higher levels as the Louvre responds to rapidly rising floodwaters in the French capital, according to the famed museum’s Twitter account.

The Louvre will be closed to the public Friday, the museum tweeted.

The downpours are forecast to continue through the weekend, following days of heavy rains that have proved deadly in France and Germany.

State of natural disaster

France is to declare a state of natural disaster for the areas worst affected by flooding, French President Francois Hollande told French media Thursday – a move that will release emergency funds to local authorities.

Meteo-France, France’s national meteorological service, said the worst-affected waterway was the Loing River, a tributary of the Seine.

Waters from the Loing flooded the streets of Nemours, a town about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Paris, on Thursday.

Emergency workers crossed the town in rescue boats, evacuating residents from their homes.

Visiting the town Thursday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls promised to start an emergency support fund for affected areas, “because they’re going to need help.”

“Nemours is not a rich city. There are people living here, in the city center, who have very small incomes,” he said.

Seine rising

While the waters from the Loing were beginning to recede, according to Meteo-France, those of the Seine are expected to continue to rise.

A suburban commuter train line in Paris, the RER C, was partially closed Thursday due to rising waters that have flooded riverside cafes in the capital and prompted authorities to urge caution around riverbanks.

The Seine’s levels are expected to peak Friday, officials said.

Why is France on strike again?

CNN’s Lindsay Isaac and Claudia Rebaza and journalists Tatiana Reiter and Anais Furtade contributed to this report.