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After floods swell French rivers, government promises help

February 5, 2021 GMT
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A couple look at the flooded Seine river in Paris, Friday, Feb.5, 2021. The banks of the Seine are flooded after heavy rains cause water levels to rise in the French capital. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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A couple look at the flooded Seine river in Paris, Friday, Feb.5, 2021. The banks of the Seine are flooded after heavy rains cause water levels to rise in the French capital. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — After rivers across France broke their banks this week amid heavy rains, the prime minister promised support Friday for farmers and residents whose land was devastated.

In Paris, several embankments were submerged Friday under the Seine River for a fourth straight day, and the national weather service forecast that waters would stay high through the weekend.

In southern France, waters are starting to recede after the worst flooding in 40 years swelled the Garonne River between Bordeaux and Toulouse. Vineyards and orchards turned into lakes, and rescue boats floated along small-town streets.

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Prime Minister Jean Castex visited the flood-battered town of Marmande in the region Friday and promised “the solidarity of the state for all those who suffered.”

He told reporters that he met with local leaders to discuss reinforcing levees and other broader structural investments “linked to these climate phenomena that keep repeating themselves.”