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Roads and tunnels closed as floodwaters threaten Paris

A man takes a photo of the Seiner river with his mobile phone in Paris, France, on Friday. Picture by Michel Euler, Associated Press

Paris authorities have closed several tunnels, parks, and the bottom floor of the Louvre Museum as the Seine River swells and the city braces for floods.

Exceptionally heavy rains have forced evacuations from homes elsewhere on the Seine after it and other French rivers burst their banks.

The Seine reached 5.53 metres (over 18 feet) on Thursday evening at the Austerlitz bridge in eastern Paris.

It was expected to keep rising, reaching a peak above six metres (20 feet) over the weekend.

Meteorological authorities say rainfall in Paris has been twice as high as normal.

The lower level of the Louvre is closed to the public until at least Sunday, but the museum did not have plans to move artworks, as it was forced to do during exceptional flooding in 2016.

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