Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great by Jeffrey H. Jackson
By Jeffrey H. Jackson
Within the iciness of 1910, the river that introduced existence to Paris—the Seine—became a strength of destruction in an issue of hours. Torrential rainfall saturated the soil, and defective engineering created stipulations that quickly drowned Parisian streets, houses, companies, and museums, thrusting the town of sunshine right into a conflict with the weather. Given the Parisians’ historical past of deep-seated social, spiritual, and political strife, many apprehensive that they wouldn’t be capable of collaborate to confront the difficulty. but whereas the sewers, M?tro, and electrical energy failed round them, Parisians of all backgrounds rallied to avoid wasting the town and each other. Improvising recommendations to maintain Paris functioning and braving the risks of collapsing infrastructure and looters, leaders and citizens alike responded the decision to motion. In breathtaking aspect, Jeffrey Jackson captures the following for the 1st time the epic tale of the nice flood. because the waters upward push, so does the strain, yet finally, the Parisians’ love in their urban leads them to conquer nature opposed to all odds.
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Extra info for Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910
The sensation of grandness and excess was precisely what Alfred Picard, the commissioner general of the committee that planned the exposition, wanted visitors to experience at the fair. Picard and his team began planning the fair in 1893 with millions of francs at their disposal. He had written the deﬁnitive report on the 1889 Exposition, so he was already quite aware of the administrative issues that he would face in preparation for 1900. Born in Strasbourg in 1844, Picard was an engineer by training, a graduate of the prestigious Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées, and one of a generation of mid-nineteenth-century men, including Gustave Eiffel, who believed unwaveringly in the power of technology to manage the world.
In 1870, those fortiﬁcations could not stop the invading troops during the Franco–Prussian War, and Dalstein was captured and held prisoner. Later, he served in the French colonies of Algeria and Indochina, working his way up through the ranks. He took command of the engineering troops in the Paris region in 1899, earning the respect of more senior ofﬁcers as well as politicians and gaining numerous awards from the French government, including the Legion of Honor. In 1906, at age 61, he became the commander of the Paris garrison and made a dramatic public debut on horseback in full dress uniform and sporting an enormous white mustache, to great public acclaim as he reviewed the troops at the Longchamps racetrack just to the west of Paris.
A series of stairwells and ramps led down to broad stone embankments, which in most places bounded the river on either side. Many were wide enough for trucks to load equipment onto the numerous boats that tied up, one after the other, parallel to the bank. They also provided a beautiful spot for picnicking, promenading, or just watching the water. Seen from the level of the river, the city far above appeared to be only rooftops and sky, as the busyness of the crowded streets vanished behind the tops of the high walls.