View of the flooded banks of the river Seine in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris, Friday, June 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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The rain-swollen River Seine in Paris receded Saturday for the first time in a week after nearing its highest level in three decades, triggering a scramble to save artworks in riverside museums.The Seine stood at 6.06 meters (just under 20 feet) above normal levels at 8:00am (0400 GMT), down from a high of 6.10 meters overnight, the environment ministry's Vigicrues flood watch website said. The environment ministry Friday forecast that the Seine would remain high throughout the weekend -- but still far off a 1910 record of 8.62 meters -- before starting to subside.Losses across France could reach more than 600 million euros ($680 million), said Bernard Spitz of France's association of insurers.In France, a man on horseback drowned Thursday after being swept away by a swollen river in Evry-Gregy-sur-Yerres, southeast of Paris.More than 20,000 people have been evacuated since the weekend and around 18,000 homes are without power.On opposite banks of the river, the Louvre and Orsay museums, which receive a combined total of 12.5 million visitors a year, closed their doors Friday so that artworks could be moved to higher floors.
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