France is to declare a state of natural disaster in areas worst hit by flooding in recent days, President Francois Hollande says.
The measure frees up funds, with some towns in central France suffering their severest floods in decades.
In Paris the Seine continues to rise, prompting the closure of a metro line running through the city centre.
Heavy rains across Europe have left at least 10 people dead, most of them in Germany.
More downpours are forecast right through the weekend across a band of central Europe from France to Ukraine, with as much as 50mm (2in) of rain falling in some parts in just a few hours.
'Totally under water'
After a day of respite on Wednesday in central France, the region is braced for a further rise in already exceptionally high river levels.