Fox News Weather Center

Seine River floods Paris forcing Louvre Museum to close Friday

Torrential rain has inundated France, including the Paris area, forcing evacuations this week.

As the rain continued Thursday, the levels of rivers, including along the Seine, have increased passing through the French capital.

Some of the most important historical sites are vulnerable to increased water level and one of these is the Louvre, which is located on the right bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement in Paris. The Louvre is recognized and highlighted as the world's largest museum and is a symbol and historical monument of France and the world.

The French News Agency (AFP) reported that the Louvre in Paris said it would close on Friday to evacuate artworks that are stored in their underground reserves due to the flooding of the Seine River. Likewise AFP stressed that the Louvre said in a statement that "the aim is to move works situated in areas vulnerable to flooding to safety by moving them to higher floors."

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister, "The river Seine is increasing due to the heavy rain that fell south of Paris. Because of this water levels will continue to rise until Friday before slowly falling this weekend."

Radio France International (RFI) said that water levels of the River Seine in Paris could reach 5.70 meters by the weekend, as the rain continues to fall in much of France.

Some 5,000 people have left their homes because the centers of cities and roads have been flooded by rivers south of Paris. Water levels have been rising faster than in 1910, when the French capital suffered its worst flooding.

While rain may let up around Paris early in the weekend, rain will quickly return to the region.

"In Paris, the weather will not be that bad with just a bit of drizzle and light showers through Saturday, and then thunderstorms return on Sunday," Leister said.