The first day:
"The Seine is rising "
"Oh well, let it rise "
Two American eyewitnesses who left Paris on January 21 heading home to the United States reported the casual way in which Parisians observed the engineers shoring up the stone walls which separated the river from the city.
US judge Paul Linebarger: "They watched with an idle sort of interest that showed they had no idea that the overflow of the river would be so great as it has turned out to be."
Mrs. M.L. Nuttall: "As a matter of fact, the concern of the people was so slight that many of them appeared to treat the activities of the government engineers in strengthening the river banks as something like a joke."