Water Falling

Once the water began receding on January 29, Parisians who had been trapped in their homes or shelters came out into the streets to celebrate. Pointing at the Seine, they said to one another, "It's going down, it's going down. Ah! It's not soon enough."

Cleaning the city would go on for weeks and months after the water began to fall. Steam pumps roared around the city removing water from basements. Inspectors made sure that Parisians properly disinfected their basements before moving back home.

But the police chief banned throwing confetti during Mardi Gras, despite the city's normally substantial celebration. The clogged drains and sewers could stand no more debris.