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Rain pummels France, Seine River overflows

Associated Press Associated Press 1/06/2016

The Seine River has overflowed embankments in Paris as floods hit or threaten cities and towns around France.

Paris City Hall closed roads along the shore of the Seine from the Left Bank in the east to across to the Eiffel Tower neighbourhood in the west as the water level has risen 4.3 metres higher than usual.

City authorities are warning residents and visitors to be vigilant on Wednesday around the river banks, and said high river levels are expected to last through Friday.

Unusually heavy rain in recent days across France has caused exceptional delays at the French Open and forced the evacuation of two prisons and left tourists soaking at sights around Paris.

Emergency workers have carried out more than 8000 rescue operations from the Belgian border south to Burgundy over the past two days, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

No casualties have been reported.

President Francois Hollande expressed his "support" to the victims of the floods during a cabinet meeting, according to government spokesman Stephane Le Foll.

Cazeneuve, speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, urged vigilance and said the government is working to protect flood victims and pledged to pay for rescue and cleanup efforts.

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