Paris Seine Flooding Routine and the Statue

Image of le Zouave statue, Pont de l'Alma and the Eiffel Tower during Paris Seine floodingAn image on the front page of a Spanish newspaper showed the Seine flooding. This prompted a reader planning a Paris visit to inquire about the situation. Looking back at my photos from 2016, I had some evidence of the river a couple of days after its peak.

Each year the Seine’s waters rise, usually as snow melts and reservoirs flood. This year, the Seine seems to be flooding a bit early from heavy rains. The last record for flooding was in June 2016. Le Zouave statue on the Pont de l’Alma is one of the gauges used.
Legend says: “When the Zouave’s feet are under water, the Seine is flooded”.

Authorities predict the Paris portion of the River Seine could reach 6,20 m by Saturday, January 27. The recent Paris Seine record is 2016 at 6,05-6,10 m.

Strong rains and melting snow cause floods around France and the Rhine near Strasbourg. France is experiencing the second highest rainy season (December-January) since records began in 1900. How deep will the Seine get? When the Seine reaches the shoulders of “le Zouave” on the Pont de l’Alma, the 1910 level will have been reached.

Flooding starts with three continuous days of heavy rains. For Paris, when the water levels of Seine, Yonne and Marne rise at the same time, a bottleneck of the waterways forms. In the 1960s at least four artificial lakes were created to deviate some of the flood waters. This video from the EPTB Seine Grands Lacs  “Le fontionnement d’un lac réservoir” shows what should theoretically happen. In theory, Paris should not endure droughts or floods …. to be continued.
Excerpts translated from Liberation “Paris, la crue devrait être aussi forte qu’en 2016
Par Guillaume Lecaplain et Jade Saada