The flooding in Paris is so severe, people are swimming down streets

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Paris Floods: Museum closures and evacuations

Water continues to rise in Paris, where the River Seine has swollen so much that people are swimming through city streets.

The river is expected to reach a height of more than 21 feet high on Friday as floodwater continues to wreak havoc on the city and other parts of Western Europe.

SEE ALSO: Stubborn storm system floods parts of France after causing major damage in Germany

At least 15 people have died amid the flooding — 10 people in Germany, two in France, two in Romania, and one person in Belgium.

Around 5,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in France, and more than 21,000 homes have lost power.

See the devastation in Paris:

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Flooding in Paris 2016
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The flooding in Paris is so severe, people are swimming down streets
A man scoops water from his house in the flooded suburb of Villeneuve-Trillage in Villeneuve Saint-Georges, outside Paris, France, June 3, 2016 after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Rescue workers from the French "Securite Civile" on a small boat attend an evacuation operation for residents of the edge of the Seine River in Juvisy-sur-Orge, near Paris, France, June 3, 2016 after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Crates with pieces of artworks from the collections of the Louvre Museum are seen near statues after it was closed to the public due to the rising Seine River in Paris, France, after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/John Schults TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Residents who refused to be evacuated sit on makeshift boats during evacuation operations of the Villeneuve-Trillage flooded suburb in Villeneuve Saint-Georges, outside Paris, France, June 3, 2016 after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Rescue workers from the French "Securite Civile" on small boats attend an evacuation operation for residents of the edge of the Seine river in Juvisy-sur-Orge, near Paris, France, June 3, 2016 after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
An information notice informs tourists that the Louvre Museum is closed due to the rising Seine River in Paris, France, after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/John Schults
A duck swims past a submerged Paris information board at the flooded Square du Vert Galant as high waters cover the banks of the Seine River in Paris, France, after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Emergency inflatable boats are parked with the Notre-Dame Cathedral in the background as high waters cover the banks of the Seine River in Paris, France, after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
A man walks on a flooded road near his houseboat moored near the Eiffel towel during flooding on the banks of the Seine River in Paris, France, after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man is seen on a small boat on the flooded river-side of the River Seine in Paris, France, after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
View of the flooded river-side of the River Seine near the Eiffel tower in Paris, France, after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
An abandoned car is submerged in deep water on the flooded river-side of the River Seine in Paris, France, after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
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Some of those who have decided to stay, have found alternate methods of transportation:

The Musée d'Orsay and The Louvre — both museums along the banks of The Seine — closed their doors to the public on Friday so staffers could move artwork out of the way of potential water damage.

Metro lines, too, have been disrupted by the floodwater.

The French Environment Ministry has said more evacuations may take place in towns outside of Paris that sit along the river.

The heavy rains are the result of a slow-moving low pressure system that has kept igniting powerful thunderstorms day-after-day.

The recent rains have come on top of an unusually wet May. According to Meteo France, in Ile-de-France, this May was the wettest on record, with rainfall totals coming close to the record high for any month, which was set in December 1999.

The agency said that three months of rain fell between May 29 to 31 across parts of the country.

Climate studies show that globally and throughout Europe, heavy precipitation events have become more common as a result of human-caused global warming. This, combined with increased development in flood plains, can worsen flood events.

In Europe, record-breaking rains increased 31% during the 1980 to 2010 period when compared to the previous 80 years, according to a study published in 2015.

Andrew Freedman contributed reporting.

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