Significant flooding in France has prompted the evacuation of thousands of people. Now both The Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay have closed their doors in order to protect invaluable art from the rising River Seine, which is at its highest level in 30 years.
A 1910 flood still holds the record for the worst to hit the city, with water levels reaching 28 feet. Now the river has reached levels of around 16 feet and continues to rise. Officials said it’s still under the levels that would be dangerous for locals, though more rain is expected this weekend.
Given that The Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay are near the river, both museums have contingency plans for such a disaster. Earlier this year, they each went through “flood of the century” training. According to Gizmodo, The Louvre may have to relocate 250,000 pieces of art in order to mitigate damages.
The flood has hit other areas surrounding Paris as well. French residents have described the weather as a “deluge.” According to France’s weather service, there hasn’t been this much rain in May since 1960. In one town 45 miles south of Paris, water rose toward some buildings’ second stories and 3,000 out of 13,000 people had to leave their homes. Reuters reports that UNESCO World Heritage site Château de Chambord is “surrounded” by the flood. At least two people in France have perished, an elderly man and woman. Other areas of Europe including Germany and Austria are also dealing with flooding.
French President Francois Hollande called a state of emergency for some areas. He also connected the flood to climate change and said we need to take action.