Sunday, 5 June 2016

Did you know that there are big floods in and around Paris?

They started in the middle of the week between Orléans and Paris and now they are moving into Normandy.
The Seine is flooding, we say La Seine est en crue (la crue comes from the verb croître which means to grow), Vigiecrues which is a body part of the ministry of the environment is checking the situation and issuing warnings to the population.
At present, many museums in Paris near the Seine like le Louvre, le musée d'Orsay, le petit et le grand Palais, la bibliothèque Mitterrand, are closed and their artefacts have been moved to safe areas.
It is now likely that the flooding is moving West of Paris, Vigicrues has issued a warning about Rouen right to the estuary of the Seine for today onwards.
Of course the situation in Paris is attracting a lot of onlookers especially at le pont de l'Alma where the statue of le zouave has been the marker for floods since it was erected in 1856.
Why is there un zouave on le pont de l'Alma? Le zouave was a fighter in the Crimean war in the middle of the 19th century, the 3rd regiment of les zouaves took the enemies' canons, so the statue was in commemoration of this victory which took place near the town of Alma.
The various levels of the Seine during floods have been recorded with photos of le zouave with water at different levels of its body. The water is usually below its feet ( ses pieds).


But in 1910, the Seine reached its shoulders ( ses épaules) at 8.62m, in 1955 it reached its waist ( sa taille)  at 7.12m, at the moment the water comes to its thighs ( ses cuisses) at 6.09m.


It is important to note that Météo France measures the level of la Seine at le pont d'Austerlitz where it is more reliable, but this bridge does not attract many tourists, it is much more exciting to take photos of le zouave!


 Let's hope that la décrue will come soon ( la décrue from the verb décroître meaning reducing) so that life will get back to normal.

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