Rivers keep swelling in France, disrupting public transportation

A tree and street lights on the tip of the flooded Île de la Cit

Parts of France remain on alert for floods as authorities struggle to deal with the fallout from the country's major rivers bursting their banks and leaving cities, villages and farms underwater.

Meteo France, the national weather agency, placed 23 departments on orange alert, the second highest level of vigilance.

"The level of the Seine in Paris will keep rising until this weekend". In June 2016, it reached 6.1m above its normal levels of between 1m and 2m.

In the capital, water level of the Seine river rose to 4.57 meters (14.99 ft.) on Tuesday, according to the Paris municipality.

A crisis unit is monitoring the situation, the Louvre said in a statement.

As a precautionary measure, the Louvre Museum, which stands on the banks of the river, closed the lower level of the Department of Islamic Art to the public till January 29.

The Musee d'Orsay and the Orangerie have cancelled evening opening on Thursday. A large part of the building borders the river.

Six train stations located near the river, including St Michel in the Latin Quarter that draws many tourists, have also been forced to shut. The Rhine, meanwhile, reopened on Wednesday south of Strasbourg.

The country's flood agency Vigicrues also warned people against the risk of power cuts, saying "even areas that rarely flood" could be inundated.

The latest weather system is spreading to the west of the Auvergne, Meteo-France said.

Crunch-time is expected on Friday or Saturday, following more heavy rainfall forecast for Thursday. Up to 40cm of snow is expected in the Haute-Loire, Monts du Cantal, and Sancy, Forez.

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