Louvre Museum shuts down lower level as River Seine continues to flood

The museum has closed its Department of Islamic Arts due to flooding.

ByPaul Pradier
January 25, 2018, 7:05 AM

PARIS— -- Following weeks of heavy rain in Paris, the River Seine continues to rise -- now putting its famous Louvre Museum in danger.

The water level is expected to reach 20 feet by Saturday, which is 13 feet higher than its normal height, according to the latest official weather bulletin.

PHOTO: Submerged cars are seen along the flooded banks of the Seine river in Paris, Jan. 23, 2018.
Submerged cars are seen along the flooded banks of the Seine river in Paris, Jan. 23, 2018.
Yoan Valat/EPA

The rise of the water level is causing disruption to the city’s transportation system. Seven metro stations alongside the river in Paris have been shut down and will remain closed until Jan. 31, transport authorities said.

PHOTO: Ducks swim on the flooded banks of the river Seine in Paris, Jan. 23, 2018.
Ducks swim on the flooded banks of the river Seine in Paris, Jan. 23, 2018.
Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

The flood is also starting to affect the Louvre Museum, located next to the Seine. In a statement, France's most visited museum -- home of the Mona Lisa -- said it will close the lower level of the Department of Islamic Arts until Jan. 28.

Roads and walking paths along the river have been closed and river traffic has been stopped on the Seine, because boats are unable to pass under the bridges.

PHOTO: A flooded street is pictured in Paris, Jan.23, 2018.
A flooded street is pictured in Paris, Jan.23, 2018.
Christophe Ena/AP

Paris police are asking tourists and locals to be extremely vigilant and stay away from the river as it continues to rise.

At 5 a.m. ET on Thursday the Seine River was at a level of 18 feet. If it rises as city officials expect, its maximum of 20 feet on Saturday will be similar to the level of the river's latest flood in June 2016.

Map shows areas of Paris affected by flooding.
Map shows areas of Paris affected by flooding.
AFP/Newscom

The current flood has a long way to go to beat the record. In 1910, during “The Great Flood of Paris,” the Seine water level rose to 28 feet.

PHOTO: A flooded street lamp is pictured in Paris, Jan.23, 2018.
A flooded street lamp is pictured in Paris, Jan.23, 2018.
Thibault Camus/AP

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events