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Climatic Conditions in France adding to travel problems

The rain has been so heavy over the past few weeks that some train lines have been blocked due to mud slides or walls along the line falling; yesterday a portion of the A10 highway was close down and some motorists had to spend the night in a gymnasium after spending all day stuck in their cars.

Trains from Paris to Chartres, Melun (for Vaux-le-Vicomte) and other areas are affected by the excessive rains, high and rising rivers, and saturated ground.

Five departements are on "orange" alert for weather, and one (the Loiret) is in red (schools are closed, etc.).

Unfortunately this is adding to the travel difficulties these days.

Posted by
2466 posts

This morning, the quai-side roads on the Right Bank were closed to traffic because they are inundated.
The ramps leading down to where traffic normally whizzes by are covered to the mid-point by water, and so are the stairways. If you're in a taxi, it might take a little longer to get around town.

I'm sure Les Berges near Musee d'Orsay has all been closed, as well.

Did not see any river traffic this morning, and checked the FaceBook pages of all the "bateaux mouches" - none of them will be running until further notice.

Posted by
2141 posts

I wanted to thank both of you for providing updated information on this situation. It's always interesting to me to see you posting from France with a "boots on the ground" report. Hope you stay safe.

Posted by
681 posts

I want to add my thanks to both of you for taking the time to keep us updated on current conditions in France. We're at the airport waiting for our first flight and we're due to arrive in Paris tomorrow a.m. Hoping for the best for everyone.

Posted by
1338 posts

I'm living in Loches this month and the rain has been ridiculous. The river is very high. Even from yesterday, you can see the problem. It's supposed to rain all weekend, too. I heard as well that the roads between Paris and Orleans are closed. What a year.

Posted by
14097 posts

My word. Thanks for the info!

Posted by
9730 posts

Earlier this morning, a second departement, Seine-et-Marne, was added to Loiret as being on red alert.

This evening they're evacuating the town center of Nemours (south of Fontainebleau) - some 3,000 people.

Posted by
2466 posts

Don't panic - the water is nowhere near the level it is outside of Paris.
It won't be, until the weathermen declare Paris is in the "vigilance rouge" zone. Right now, Paris only rates "vigilance orange" - which means it might or might not get worse, and only if it keeps raining heavily and steadily.

Some trains in Paris (including RER/Metro) are delayed or cancelled due to power outages due to all the rain. This is a regular occurrence, though, when there's more rain than usual. Keep checking the helpful websites everyone has already posted - do it often. And remember - you will eventually get where you're headed. Keep everyone notified of any delays, so you won't run into any cancellation problems.

The worst thing I've experienced is standing too close to the curb and getting myself and my dog splashed by a delivery truck.

Posted by
115 posts

Kim- Thank you so much for all of these updates. We will be in Paris for the first time in less thank week, and honestly you have been the best source of info I have found, from links to look at for trains, strikes and now weather! Your time and efforts are appreciated.

Posted by
35 posts

Hi, Kim - I want to add to everyone's thanks for all the help you've been. There's so much going on there now!

I was able to check in on my flight from SFO to CDG for tomorrow, June 2nd and arriving afternoon of June 3rd. We're getting a rental car at 14:00 (already booked/paid) at the airport and driving down to Chartres for our first night before swinging around up to Giverny, Honfleur and the Normandy (I guess, gas supplies permitting...).

I see you mentioned in this post that the A10 highway was closed. I see that the A10 looks like part of the route from CDG to Chartres. Do you have a suggestion to avoid that or a better route to Chartres? (I'd also made an emergency backup reservation for the first night in Vernon, in case any of the strikes meant we'd be too late to see Chartres on Friday.)

Thanks again for any feedback!

Posted by
20296 posts

@ Chexbres,

The worst thing I've experienced is standing too close to the curb and getting myself and my dog splashed by a delivery truck.

I've seen this so many times in comedic commercials that I thought it never actually happens, yet I think it has happened to just about everyone.

Posted by
9730 posts

Waters continue to rise this morning. If you could see how high the waters are in the Seine in Paris, you'd be amazed!!

Some 5,500 people have been evacuated in France due to floodwaters in the past few days. The A10 continues to have a portion closed.

More rain projected today in Paris.

(I forgot to mention earlier that the train to Melun is closed because of a mudslide -- obviously caused by the rains -- and there's some other train that's closed because a retaining wall fell on the tracks.)

And of course pity anyone who has tickets for the French Open, it's been cancelled more than it's been played this year, including a complete rain-out on Monday, the first time that's happened since 2000.

Posted by
9730 posts

Possibility that the RER C within Paris will have to be shut down because of the rising waters. SNCF (French rail) chief Guillaume Pepy made this announcement yesterday while checking out the Transilien Line N that is currently closed (that line won't open until at least Monday), as reported in Le Parisien:

"La Seine a atteint 4,30 m au Pont d’Austerlitz, et le niveau pourrait
monter au-delà de 5 m. Il faut savoir qu’au-dessus de 4,75 m, il
faudra interrompre le trafic du RER C à l’intérieur de Paris par
sécurité »

"The Seine has reached a level of 4.3 meters at the Pont d'Austerlitz, and the level could rise beyond 5 meters. You need to know that at 4.75 meters, we will have to interrupt the RER C inside Paris for security reasons."

Posted by
2466 posts

Yes, the Seine is at "flood stage" - but the level of the water in Paris is still a very long way from coming close to the streets and sidewalks where residents and tourists are wandering around. Only the lower quais - the ones nearest the river level - have been affected so far. Plenty of time before you have to get out the inner tubes and snorkel equipment.

It's true that travel outside of Paris is becoming more difficult. But in Paris, everything is going on as usual - except we're all pretty sick of being wet.

Posted by
9730 posts

The RER C within Paris has been closed as of today (Thursday June 2) at 4 pm.

The Musée d'Orsay is not opening for its evening hours tonight because of the "level orange" threat of the floods.

And obviously none of the bateaux mouches or other tour boats are plying the Seine, since no boats can travel this portion of the Seine right now as the water is far too high under the bridges to allow them to pass.

Posted by
5253 posts

Thank you so very much for all your helpful posts!

I've been reading them all & I truly appreciate your time & all the information you've been providing regarding the train strikes, airport controllers strike, & now the weather.

We're in Provence now but the rain has been following us ever since we arrived to Chamonix!

We plan to arrive in Paris next Wednesday, so I've been praying for the train strike to stop (for everyone's sake) & now I will pray for the rain to go to
California, where we are experiencing a drought!

Thanks again Kim!

Chexbres, thank you for all the helpful information you've been providing as well!

Your comment regarding getting splashed by a delivery truck, reminded me of the time I was splashed with muddy water, while walking home from school (6th grade) and wearing a white uniform!

Hello All,
We're in France now.
Planning to visit Paris, Versailles, and Giverny, over the next few days. Anyone there now have information on how much of a problem the flooding is in these places? And is it a problem driving to them?

Posted by
9730 posts

Both the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay will be closed tomorrow (Friday, June 3).

The RER C will still be closed in central Paris; in addition the station Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche will be closed.

Tomorrow the waters are expected to crest in Paris at about 6 meters high towards mid-day.

Posted by
1 posts

My wife and I plan to visit some of the chateaux in the Loire Valley around the week of June 13. I've heard reports of flooding. Does anyone have any knowledge of conditions there currently or any guess about what conditions might be the week we are planning to be there? We plan to take the train from Paris and base in Amboise. We'll have a rental car.

Posted by
2466 posts

Tonight's news showed Fontainebleau and a couple of other chateaux - the grounds are mostly underwater, so these attractions will all be closed until the land dries out. In addition, most highways and toll roads are closed, due to high water. It's unfortunate, but a lot of vacations will be ruined this year.

Though the RER C is not going to Versailles Rive Gauche, you can get to Versailles if you use the bus. There are instructions on the official website.

The underground passageway which leads to the Arc de Triomphe will probably be closed, if it isn't already, and there's no other way to get to the top.

The Louvre will be closed tomorrow and Musee d'Orsay will close off certain areas, while they protect artwork stored on lower levels. I would expect this would continue at other museums, as well - check before you go.

The city is planning to install flood barriers at several Metro stations when it becomes necessary, so these will not be accessible. I would check the website for daily updates.

Some bus routes which run alongside the river might be rerouted while the river remains high. This was the case late this afternoon near Bastille. If you're going to either airport, you should allow much more time than you planned. Traffic is not moving anywhere quickly.

The Seine's current is moving at more than 5 km/minute - city officials are warning people to stay off the lower quais or anywhere there is high water present. If you want to take photos, stay on the bridges.

Posted by
101 posts

Bah. Who would have thought when I booked my flight in January that this would happen. Im in chilly london right now and taking the eurostar on Saturday for 5 nights.

Posted by
9730 posts

I know Debbie-- I keep thinking of people here to enjoy May/June in Paris . . .what a drag.

I'm not sure why other museums that aren't along the Seine would close down, this is very localized to the immediate environs of the Seine. The Louvre and the Orsay, of course, line the Seine longways in both cases. I suppose maybe the Quai Branly, but they haven't indicated that they're closing.

Posted by
2466 posts

It depends on what the museums have stored in underground vaults. If it's thought that water might enter the storage facilities, a portion or all of the museum would be closed, while they re-arrange things. Obviously, this would also be a security concern, so some areas might be closed to the public during this time.

The Louvre has an enormous amount of art stored underground, so it will take longer to move it to higher ground.

Anyone headed outside of Paris should be watching the weather reports. Though the water is receding somewhat in certain areas, it will take a couple of weeks for everything to dry out. Many areas do not have electricity and the water won't be safe to drink for awhile. So, call your hotel or host to make certain that they will be able to honor your reservation.

Not a good year for anyone, unfortunately.

Posted by
15620 posts

Commentators for the French Open mentioned that the organizers were letting fans into the main courts without tickets because so many of the ticket-holders were staying away due to the weather and the stands were nearly empty. Of course, that may be purely surmise on the part of the commentators.

Posted by
10254 posts

I didn't read the article, but if other museums shut it's so their crews are freed up to help museums that are moving works. Additionally, all these places have vaults going many levels underground.

Posted by
1338 posts

Chambord has had some flooding. So they're not open. I've also heard a lot more routes are closed.
Today in Loches the river is just a little bit lower than it was yesterday...fortunately.
As far as I know, Amboise is fine. Their facebook page posted a pic showing the chateau today and last year and comparing the river

Posted by
1097 posts

My heart goes out to all of the folks who unfortunately planned their vacations for this time, and for those who are living there and having to deal with this. I hope it clears soon.
We land in Paris three weeks from today, and are joining the RS Best of France My Way tour on June 28. Between the strikes, the weather and the political climate... well, I don't know what to think!