Paris, France : water, water, water everywhere !


When the Seine river decides to overflow and flood the Seine banks.

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Paris, France - The lamppost that wanted to be a periscope
Paris, France – The lamppost that wanted to be a periscope

Flooding ! Two years after what the media described as one of the worst flooding Paris and its surroundings had known since 1982, the Seine river has decided to give it another try. Of course, not a day goes by without the local newspapers writing about the flooding of 1910, when the river rose 8 meters above its normal level, and I’ve even read some article about the different emergency plans that exist in case of one major flooding like that of 1910. Quite a sensational moment to live, to say the least ! At least if you read the newspapers.

In real life, though it’s impressive, this new flooding is nothing to be afraid of. The Seine river won’t rise more than 6 meters above its normal level, which is about the same as in 2016. No need to run away from the city ! Especially when the flooding creates quite fascinating  and unique scenes to photograph.

Of course, since I had already experienced a similar flooding here in Paris two years ago, I already had an idea of the pictures I wanted to take, and the surprise effect was quite nonexistent. But thanks, I found walking along the overflowing Seine river way more soothing this time than two years ago. No need to run for the next picture. I could just walk calmly, take the time to get the shots I wanted, and then just enjoy the day, throwing away some thoughts in the river current.

Despite the crowd, indeed, I found the atmosphere quite prone to a calm introspection. Staring at the water that flows away, especially when the current is so strong, has quite a soothing effect on me. It just makes me feel empty, maybe even a bit exhausted. I guess that that’s what I wanted to capture in the photos I’ve taken : the kind of unreal calm that inhabited me while walking along the overflowing Seine river.

I hope you’ll like the pictures, as usual !

Paris, France - Standing in the flow
Paris, France – Standing in the flow
Paris, France - filling the arches
Paris, France – filling the arches
Paris, France - feet in the water
Paris, France – feet in the water

13 thoughts on “Paris, France : water, water, water everywhere !

    1. Merci ! Oui, c’est une joie pour les photographes, mais c’est toujours, aussi, un désastre, surtout pour les villes en amont. Heureusement, cette année, la crue est restée “modérée”, mais je me demande bien ce qu’il adviendra quand elle sortira réellement de son lit… De nombreuses villes risquent de souffrir bien plus, et il semble que les pouvoirs publics ne s’en inquiètent pas plus que cela.

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    1. Thanks ! Despite my having already seen similar flooding two years ago, it was still quite impressive. And paradoxically, the Seine, though more restless, was also calmer, without all the “bateaux mouches” sailing on its waters. Only water flowing by, with a trunk or some branches sometimes. Even in extreme cases, water keeps its soothing power.

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      1. Some say I have the tendency to live with the head in the clouds 😉 They’re not that wrong. I really often get absorbed by certain details, though I wish I could also, sometimes, “wake up” and be less contemplative 🙂

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  1. Gorgeous images, Pierre — your long-exposure shots certainly reflect the serenity you describe. Your work is breathtaking! I will be eager to see how the quais look when I visit in six weeks.

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    1. Thanks, Heide ! I’m very happy to read that you like the pictures. I think when you come, it will be back to normal, but trust me, it’s even better this way. I miss walking on the quais right now. And in some weeks, the cherry trees around Notre-Dame de Paris will bloom, which will be beautiful to see 🙂 You’ll be coming at the right time !

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      1. I would miss walking on the quais too, Pierre — but I think the novelty of the scenes like those you’re capturing would be more than enough consolation. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll be right about the cherry blossoms! It doesn’t seem possible to go from snow to blossoms in just five weeks, but who knows? Paris is full of surprises. 🙂

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      2. There’s this species of tree, prunus cerasifera pissardii, which is quite common here in France, and usually blooms early in Spring, generally in March, so who knows, you might get lucky 😉 I hope so !

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      3. How wonderful (and incredible) that you know the name of the species, Pierre. I just Googled it and you’re right: This is exactly the blooming tree I’m hoping to see. Thought I wouldn’t complain if I got to see Paris under the snow instead. 😉

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