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Flood waters recede in southern France but remain high in Paris

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
Flood waters recede in southern France but remain high in Paris
Copyright  Rafael Yaghobzadeh/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

After rivers across France broke their banks this week amid heavy rains, the prime minister promised support for farmers and residents whose land was damaged.

In Paris, several embankments were submerged on 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.

Prime Minister Jean Castex visited the flood-battered town of Marmande in the region on 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.''

Meanwhile, in Germany, Berlin's largest homeless camp was evacuated on Saturday as a bitter winter storm approaches.

The temperature is expected to drop to minus eight degrees during the day over the weekend, and the nights will be even colder.

"We will accommodate the people now, taking care they do not mix with other people due to the coronavirus pandemic. There they will spend the weekend in a protected warm shelter," said Kevin Hönicke, the deputy mayor of Berlin-Lichtenberg.

The Red Cross is also offering assistance with its heated buses that offer homeless people warmth, blankets, and tea as they drive around the city.