BREAKING:Louvre Closed and France Declares State Of Emergency-Now It's Time to Remember The Most Powerful Hurricane KATRINA

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Thousands of people have been evacuated as floods continue to threaten homes and businesses across the Paris region.

French authorities said areas along the River Loing, a tributary of the Seine, had seen waters rise to levels unseen since 1910, when a massive flood swamped the capital.

Media reported evacuations in the town of Nemours, about 50 miles (80km) south of Paris.

The iTele broadcaster said 400 firefighters and police were at work there removing people from flood-hit homes.

France's meteorological service said today that severe flood watches are in effect in two Paris-area departments - Loiret and Seine-et-Marne.

Eight other departments, including three on the German border, face flood warnings.

The Louvre museum in Paris has been closed to the public today as France declared a state of emergency due to deadly flooding.

Six people have died across Europe due after heavy rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks from the French capital to the southern German state of Bavaria.

Dramatic aerial footage shows the extend of the flood damage as thousands of people have been trapped in homes and cars.

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An 86-year old woman was found dead in her flooded house in a small town southwest of Paris late on Wednesday, apparently the first casualty from the heavy rains that caused the Loire and Seine rivers to burst their banks.

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A man walks on a flooded road near his houseboat moored near the Eiffel towel.

The other five people have died elsewhere in Europe in the last week.

President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency in the worst affected areas of France and promised money to help local authorities deal with the flood damage.

"Since yesterday it's just been a deluge," said Jerome Coiffier, an inhabitant of Longjumeau, less than 20 km south of Paris, where firemen wading thigh-deep in water rescued inhabitants using inflatable boats.

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Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited Nemours, 75 km south of Paris, where at least 3,000 out of 13,000 inhabitants had to leave their homes, as flood water crept towards the second story of buildings in the town centre.

He called the situation "tense".

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Paris shows a gangway in the water on the flooded banks of the river Seine following heavy rainfalls.

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French firefighters on a small boat evacuate residents from a flooded area in Longjumeau

After days of torrential rains, the French government has issued an orange alert for central Paris, with the Seine's water level bursting through 5 meters.

Its record high was 8.60 meters during the devastating floods of 1910.

The Louvre is also expected to be shut tomorrow so that priceless artworks can be removed if the swollen River Seine keeps rising higher, an internal email to staff showed.

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Firefighters evacuate people in a small boat

French firefighters on a small boat evacuate residents from a flooded area in Longjumeau.

"The museum will remain closed to the public tomorrow out of precaution: there is no danger to the public or our staff but will allow us to calmly remove certain art collections should it be necessary," the email seen by Reuters stated.

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The SNCF rail operator to close an underground commuter line that runs along the river and is used by tourists to reach the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Severe flooding hits parts of Bavaria, Germany

The Musee d'Orsay said it would close earlier than planned.

In the Loire valley, the Chambord castle, a Unesco heritage site, found itself surrounded by water.

The national weather service said the greater Paris region had in May endured its wettest month since 1960.

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Hurricane Katrina : New Orleans ten years after storm, in pictures

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Hurricane Katrina went down in history as the costliest and one of the deadliest natural disasters to strike the U.S., with damage to property costing $150 billion and nearly 2,000 people losing their lives. Associated Press photographer Gerald Herbert has returned to some of the most damaged areas to see what they look like today.

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Flood victims ride in a pickup truck as hundreds of people wait to be evacuated at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Centre in New Orleans and the same site a decade later.

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People wade through floodwater as they go in and out of the Circle Food Store in New Orleans and (inset) the grocery store today.

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A man pushing his bicycle through flood waters near the Superdome in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina left much of the city under water, and (inset) a cyclist outside the renamed Mercedes-Benz Superdome a decade later.

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Buses parked in a flooded parking lot

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A tangle of fishing boats blocking the lanes of Highway 23 in Empire, Louisiana.

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Debris in front of the Church of God in the Lower Ninth Ward neighbourhood of New Orleans, and a decade later, an empty lot where it once stood. Before Katrina, the Lower Ninth Ward was a working-class and predominantly African-American neighbourhood just outside the city's historic center.

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Harry and Silvia Pulizzano walking across debris in search of Silvia's brother's home in Waveland, Miss., and the same site a decade later.

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The steeple from the Main Street Methodist Church blown down during Hurricane Katrina in Bay St. Louis, Miss., and the restored church (inset)

Government officials have sought to learn from the tragedy and implement better environmental, communications and evacuation policies. The Army Corps of Engineers has rebuilt the levee system, making the barriers higher and supporting them with steel beams that extend as far as 65 feet (19.8 meters) below sea level.

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On 2006, Congress passed an act to reorganize FEMA. The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act offers grants to help cities revise evacuation plans, includes provisions for better communication with non-English speaking people and those with disabilities and recognizes the evacuation needs of people with pets. The act also increases funding for Urban Search and Rescue teams and requires the establishment of a family registry within six months after a storm.

The city of New Orleans has improved resident access to evacuation and alert information. For example, they have an e-mail and text message system called NolaReady that 13,000 residents have signed up for.

Ten years later, the region was still recovering from Katrina. The New Orleans metro area's population had dropped dramatically, from 1.386 million in 2005 to 1.04 million in 2006. By 2014, it had climbed back to 1.252 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of housing units and business establishments had also fallen and by 2014 had not returned to pre-2005 levels.

While many of the tourist areas such as the French Quarter have recovered, there are still neighborhoods just a short ride from the city that are just gone.

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Source:http://www.breakingnews.ie

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