A state of emergency has been declared in France as torrential rains continue to flood Paris and surrounding areas. The River Seine burst its banks earlier in the week and has since reached a record height of 8.6 metres – the highest it has been in nearly 35 years.

Submerging roads and footpaths the water levels have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes, while dozens of Parisian schools have closed in the south as the waters continue to rise. Businesses such as the popular "Bateaux-Mouches" boat tours have also had no choice but to shut, as water creeped up to their doors.

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A resident walks past abandoned cars as he escapes from the flooded area of Villeneuve-Trillage suburb in Villeneuve Saint-Georges, outside ParisChristian Hartmann/ Reuters

Francois Hollande has promised funding to help local authorities deal with flood damage, but despite officials stressing that the water levels is still below the height for it to be threatening, residents remain concerned. Zadik, who lives in Paris, told Reuters that the water was "pretty impressive. Pretty impressive. But I hope the rain will stop, otherwise it'll be a catastrophe."

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An aerial view the castle of Chambord, some 170 kilometers southwest of Paris, and its partly flooded park after the river Cosson went bursting it banksGuillaume Souvant/ AFP
Paris floods
Residents who refused to be evacuated sit on makeshift boats during evacuation operations of the Villeneuve-Trillage flooded suburb in Villeneuve Saint-Georges, outside ParisChristian Hartmann/ Reuters

In the heart of the city, the Zouave statue on the Port de l'Alma has become half submerged in floodwaters – according to sources, when the statue's feet are under water, emergency flood precautions must be taken.

The Louvre museum has taken drastic precautions to protect the valuable artwork from the flood water. With assistance from government authorities, they have organised the transfer of art work from underground rooms to an upper room, where they will be kept temporarily. The work includes the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities which holds life size sculptures of high value.

President of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez told Reuters that "At the moment there is no flooding, no infiltration at the Louvre museum, collections are not at risk, the palace is not at risk, so the public isn't either. But if we took the decision to close at 5.50 metres it is to give us the three days needed – if the water level continues to rise – to evacuate the collections in good conditions."

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Waters of the river Seine rising on the statue of the Zouave at the Alma bridge in ParisJoel Saget/ AFP
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A man holds a Silurus that he fished on the flooded banks of the River Seinein ParisBertrand Guay/ AFP
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The Zouave statue of the Alma bridge flooded by the river Seine following heavy rainfalls in ParisBertrand Guay/ AFP
Paris floods
A placard announcing the closure of the Louvre Museum in Paris, after the rain-swollen river Seine reached its highest level in three decadesJoel Saget/ AFP
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Boxes containing valuable artworks from the Louvre reserves stored among status in one of the museum's room of the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities room after they were evacuated from the basement following days of heavy rainGeoffroy van der Hasselt/ AFP
Paris floods
Boxes containing valuable artworks from the Louvre reserves stored among status in one of the museum's room of the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities room after they were evacuated from the basement following days of heavy rainGeoffroy van der Hasselt/ AFP
Paris floods
Boxes containing valuable artworks from the Louvre reserves stored among status in one of the museum's room of the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities room after they were evacuated from the basement following days of heavy rainGeoffroy van der Hasselt/ AFP
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A couple kiss on the bank as high waters causes flooding along the Seine River in ParisCharles Platiau/ Reuters

Emergency services have been on stand by for the duration of the week in order to assist those in need. The army was also called in to rescue stranded motorists on a major highway and residents have been piling into trucks and were driven to safer areas where Red Cross rescue workers were standing by.

The national weather service said that this is the wettest month the greater Paris region has seen since 1960.

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A devastated bookstore is pictured on June 2, 2016 in Montargis, some 130 kilometers south of ParisAlain Jocard/ AFP
Paris floods
Water rises near the statue of the Zouave and the Eiffel Tower at the Alma bridge in ParisLaurent Kalfala/ AFP
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A woman tries to remove objects in water near a boat on the river SeineGeoffroy van der Hasselt/ AFP
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Firefighters on a small boat evacuate residents from a flooded area in Longjumeau, southern ParisChristian Hartmann/ Reuters
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An abandoned car is submerged in deep water on the flooded river-side of the River Seine in ParisPascal Rossignol/ Reuters
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A newly married couple stands on a bridge in ParisJoel Saget/ AFP
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Aerial view of rescuers intervening on a flooded road in a southern district of Blois, some 200 kilometers southwest of Paris, after the river Loire burst it banksGuillaume Souvant/ AFP
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The river Seine bursting its banks next to the Eiffel TowerKenzo Tribouillard/ AFP
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Aerial view of flooded allotments on the southern bank of Blois, some 200 kilometers southwest of Paris, after the river Loire burst it banksGuillaume Souvant/ AFP
Paris floods
A man tries to remove objects in water near a boat on the river SeineGeoffroy van der Hasselt/ AFP
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Flooded railways tracks in front of the Eiffel tower after the banks of the River Seine became floodedJoel Saget/ AFP