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FRANCE

French floods subside, stranded cars moved from motorway

Fire brigade divers on the River Seine ain Paris
Fire brigade divers on the River Seine ain Paris Reuters//Christian Hartmann

The River Seine receded further in Paris on Sunday after reaching its highest levels for 30 years but transport disruption continued. Levels rose to the north near Rouen and towards the Channel coast but not as much as had been feared. South of Paris rescue services started to move 300 cars that had been stranded on the A10 motorway near Rouen.

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A red alert ordered by Environment Minister Ségolène Royal in Normandy on Saturday evening was reduced to orange on Sunday morning.

Experts had warned that new storms, combined with water coming from the Paris region and high tides at the river's mouth could lead to serious flooding but rainfall was not heavy.Some roads and gardens but no houses were flooded near Elbeuf, south of Rouen, and the water overflowed onto the quays in the city itself but far less than had been feared.

Officials advised "the greatest caution" on Sunday afternoon when the next high tide was due.

300 cars stranded on motorway

Part of the A10 motorway was closed north of Orleans and work began to move some 300 vehicles that had been abandoned on the road during the week when their occupants were rescued from flooding.

Seventeen departments, in the centre, Ile de France and the eastern Lorraine, were on orange alert and more rain is expected in the next few days, although flood monitors believe it will not significantly affect water levels.

About 11,300 homes were without electriticy on Sunday morning, 10,400 of them in the Paris region, 600 in the central Loir et Cher.

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