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Snow closes Eiffel Tower again
The Eiffel Tower was closed on Sunday as snow fell again on Paris and the surrounding region. With the thermometer set to drop even more on Monday, the government announced a new effort to save rough sleepers from the cold.
Snow started falling in the Ile de France region on Saturday afternoon and continued overnight, forcing the authorities to close the Eiffel Tower on Sunday because its iron walkways and stairs were rendered dangerous by ice.
Plans to open the monument early Sunday afternoon were pushed back as temperatures remained low in the French capital.
It eventually reopened in the late afternoon and was to stay open until 11.00pm.
The Eiffel Tower announces closure on Twitter
March 18th, due to the snow and freezing temperatures of the night, the opening of the Eiffel Tower is delayed. The opening is scheduled for early afternoon. Stay informed on our social feeds and website. https://t.co/YSYNvwqS5t#eiffeltower #TourEiffel pic.twitter.com/TErBVdVvqjLa tour Eiffel (@LaTourEiffel) 18 mars 2018
The tower, which was visited by six million people in 2017, was closed several times in February for the same reason.
Rough sleepers offered shelter
On Saturday the urban development ministry announced a "mobilisation" of social services to provide shelter for the homeless, warning that Monday would be the coldest day of the new cold snap with temperatures 6-7.0°C lower than the seasonal average.
An extra 1,677 places would be added to the 4,260 already available in shelters since 1 November, it said, and teams would search for rough sleepers in sites like the banks of the Seine and the Bois de Vincennes park on the city's outskirts.
As well as in Ile de France, there was snowfall in Burgundy, Franche-Comté, the Jura mountains and the Alps on Sunday.