Floods in France force evacuations, submerge highways and river banks

Floods in northern France have caused thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes as waters envelop streets and river banks, the Interior Ministry said.

More than 5,000 people were evacuated from the Seine-et-Marne region east of Paris and the department of Essone, south of Paris, according to French authorities. Firefighters received more than 10,000 requests for assistance, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Historic villages centres, including main promenades lined with shops and bakeries, had more than a metre of water covering the streets.

The Paris police department Twitter account published photographs of firefighters rescuing a homeless man from a submerged street.

The city's famed Louvre Museum said it would close Friday to move works of art susceptible to flooding to higher floors where there is less chance of water damage.

In central Paris, the Seine rose more than 5 metres and covered the river banks' broad walkways. A dpa reporter saw a family evacuating a houseboat on the Seine using a small dinghy.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls pledged to release exceptional funds to support the regions hardest hit by the floods.

In Souppes-sur-Loing, in the Seine-et-Marne region, an 86-year-old woman was found dead at her flooded home, authorities said. An investigation was underway to determine the exact cause of death.

Last update: Thu, 02/06/2016 - 22:53
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