Then and Now: The 1910 Great Flood of Paris vs 2016 Floods

By 2:23 PM

In late January of 1910 the water level of the Seine rose a staggering 8 meters (26 ft) above normal. After months of heavy winter rains, the Seine flooded Paris as water pushed upwards from overflowing sewers, drains and subway tunnels. The event would be come to known as the Crue de la Seine de 1910, or the 1910 Great Flood of Paris.

Over the course of a week, thousands were forced to evacuate their homes as police, fire fighters and soldiers waded through the streets in boats to rescue stranded residents and distribute aid. It would take 35 days for the floods to disappear completely and estimates of the flood’s damage reached some 400 million francs, or $1.5 billion in today’s money.

This past week, Paris has once again undergone flooding as the Seine climbed to 6.1 m (20 ft), its highest level since 1982.

To highlight the contrast between the two floods, artist Julien Knez aka Golem13 found the present day locations of 1910 flood photos and carefully matched both. The resulting images are striking because Knez took the time to perfectly match the angle, distance and location of the originals.

Knez has also recently published a book—in the same style with old photos of Paris compared to present day—entitled, Paris – Fenêtres sur l’Histoire. The book is currently available on Amazon and Fnac.

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