Y’know that nursery rhyme that goes, “London Bridge is falling down?” Well, here’s a new one: “The Eiffel Tower is flooding now.” That’s right, folks. The Seine River in Paris is flooding big time.
On Tuesday, the City of Paris issued an orange alert—the second-highest flood warning—as the Seine River swelled to near-unprecedented levels. The river’s been slowly rising since the beginning of this year because of an influx of water from rainfall upstream. Now, the river is about 10 feet higher than it usually is, and it’s not finished rising, according to The Local. The city isn’t alone in its flood problems, either. The rains have left 15 departments across France in an orange alert.
The Seine River flows right along the iconic Eiffel Tower, as well as Notre Dame, and the historic Louvre Museum. French authorities are worried the flooding could even reach the city’s actual bridges. (Maybe that should be the new nursery rhyme.) Art museums Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay are preparing to move art out of storage in case the flooding reaches them, reports The Guardian.
“We will implement our flood risk prevention plan when the Seine reaches 5.08 meters (16.67 feet),” said an unnamed Louvre official to The Guardian.
City streets and rail lines are all screwed up, too. Seven stations are closed, and the city expects them to stay that way until Friday, at least. Roads along the riverbank are also closed off to pedestrians. And, of course, river traffic ain’t happening right now.
Now, this flooding is nothing compared to the great flood that hit Paris in 1910; that one left the city underwater for two months and killed five people. Still, the current situation feels eerily similar.
The rain in Paris has been five times worse is usual for January, reports The Local. And a study from earlier this month predicts river flooding is going to get worse in the next 25 years due to the ways climate change will alter rainfall patterns.
Climate change really is going to suck.