Floodwaters hit peak in Paris, now threaten Normandy

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Floodwaters hit peak in Paris, now threaten Normandy
A flooded street lamp and signboards are pictured next to the river Seine in Parison the river Seine in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. Floodwaters were nearing their peak in Paris on Saturday, with the rain-swollen Seine River engulfing scenic quays and threatening wine cellars and museum basements. The Eiffel tower is seen background. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS (AP) — Floodwaters have reached a peak in Paris and are now threatening towns downstream along the rain-engorged Seine River.

The national flood monitoring agency Vigicrues said the water levels hit a maximum height of 5.84 meters (19 feet, 2 inches) on the Austerlitz scale early Monday. That’s below initial fears last week, and well below record levels of 8.62 meters in 1910.

But weeks of heavy rains have swollen the Seine and its tributaries, forcing road closures, engulfing scenic embankments and halting river boat cruises through the French capital.

The waters are expected to stay unusually high for days or weeks.

The floods have caused damage in 242 towns along the river, and are now threatening more towns as the Seine heads downstream west of Paris toward Normandy and the English Channel.