None but the most ardent deniers of climate change can pretend this catastrophe in the City of Lights is not happening right now. Paris has been having a rather hard ordeal around this time in the past year due to massive flooding from the very river that has been indelibly attached to the city’s image for centuries. When the Seine burst its banks and dumped water on the streets of Paris the year before, museums were closed and exhibits moved upstairs before the ground floors were submerged. Now that nightmare has revisited with a vengeance, promising even worse to come.
As the Associated Press tells us, the near-annually regular flooding of the Seine by now has caused property damage not only in Paris itself but in no less than 242 communities lining its banks and that of its tributaries. This has been caused by constant heavy rains that are being touted as the worst the country’s ever had in 50 years. Flood warnings were issued in the City of Lights as early as January 24 last week. By this Tuesday, January 30, the Seine’s maximum water level hit 5.84 meters on the Austerlitz scale, and once again a watery hell broke loose upon Paris.
With those high levels of flooding, Paris has plummeted from lists of priority tourist destinations early this year. Tours on the Seine’s bateaux mooches riverboats are out. Just like last year, institutions like The Louvre have had to suffer the indignity of evacuating their displays to the upper floors, yielding the ground floor to the deluge. It was even worse in Paris’s subways and riverside rail stations have been closed down and will remain so for several days yet, while Parisians and tourists wait it out. Statues are either isolated by the waters, or nearly submerged.
By now, residents and city officials are more ready to attribute their hardships with the Seine to the ravages of the Climate Change phenomenon, which remains a divisive issue among some of the world’s most influential nations. A statement from Paris’s Deputy Mayor Columbe Brossel stressed what Parisians have been very aware of for two straight years now: “We have to understand that Climatic Change is not a word, it’s a reality.”
Weather forecasts from AccuWeather put forth the possibility of rain-showers over Paris on Thursday and Friday, with heavier rain once again coming into play by Saturday, February 3. The all-time record for water level in a flooded Seine River was 8.62 meters from the devastating 1910 Paris flood.
Photo courtesy of sott.net