Seine river swells to peak of almost 20 feet after Paris floods

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Louvre officials said the lower level of the Islamic wing will remain closed at least through Monday.

Upstream of Paris, water levels in the Marne - the river that joins the Seine as it enters the city - continued to creep higher on Saturday, Paris police said.

A health centre in the north-western suburbs, where 86 patients were receiving care, was evacuated on Friday.

The Seine in Paris appears to have reached a plateau, authorities have said - but 12 departments remain on orange alert for river flooding.

About 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes in the Paris region because of the flooding and a similar number are without electricity.

A photographer takes a picture of a model along the flooded banks of the Seine River in Paris on Saturday.

The river was expected to peak at 19 feet, 8 inches on the Austerlitz scale, which compares the surface level with an underwater sensor at Austerlitz Bridge in eastern Paris.

Yrayzoz said rescuers worked against the clock to securely transfer the migrants from the fishing boat as its stowage, where numerous passengers crammed, filled up with water.

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In the prestigious 16th Arrondissement (district), some basements in residential buildings were slowly being inundated.

Inside the studios, tables and dressers have been lifted off the floor as water seeps through the walls, the agency says.

The national weather service Meteo France said Monday that January has seen almost double normal rainfall nationwide, and that the rains in the past two months are the highest measured for the period in 50 years.

Tourists also suffered, with the capital's famous Bateaux Mouches rivercraft out of service, and only emergency services authorised to navigate the waterway.

More favourable weather is expected for the week ahead, and Vigicrues has lowered its warning level from orange to yellow in several areas upstream of the capital.

A main commuter line, the RER C, has halted service at Paris stops indefinitely, and some roads that run alongside the Seine have been closed.

But several areas on the city's outskirts were under water, including the southern suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, where some residents were getting around by boat and dozens have been evacuated from their homes.

Contaminated water, not concentrated crude oil, had leaked, Total said in a statement.