Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
Today is the day. Or today might be the day but it might not be the day. Any day between today and the 12th of March might be the day. But maybe not. There are items in the news about the possibility of the Seine flooding. They are more items than news and they are more items than warnings. The Rivers Seine and Yonne and Marne are all rising by 50 cm a day. The days of the projected flooding of the rivers have arrived. Everything for at least 100 metres on either side of the river will flood. This will cause chaos with the electricity and gas and water. All of these things are controlled by systems whose points of organization are right along the river. Apparently this flooding is not new. It has happened before. The Seine flooded in 1910 and the city was not prepared. Water came up from the sewers and the metros as well as from rainfall. It was a catastrophe. The possibility of this happening again is re-addressed each year at this same time. The flooding is overdue. It is expected every 80 -100 years so it is well overdue. Some articles say it is important to stockpile water and food and candles. Others say it is wise to simply leave the city. The government has offered no advice. It all appears to be being presented as a crisis which is not a crisis yet. It will only be a crisis if it happens, so we continue to assume that it will not happen. I went to look at the river from the Pont Louis Philippe to see if it looked higher than normal. Other people were looking too. It all looks fine to me. There are no sand bags in ready position. I do not think sand bags would be much help anyway. An older couple with fluffy white hair and ankle-length matching fur coats were studying the water. They each had long flowing white silk scarves. They spent a long time discussing the river and eventually they floated off with their shiny pelt-covered bodies well-protected from the wind. They did not appear worried. They were only interested. I could rush out to buy water and candles and food but I probably won’t.