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Notre Dame's architect says the heat wave could cause the cathedral's ceiling to collapse

Notre Dame survived a massive fire months ago, but the beloved Paris cathedral is facing a new threat: a...

Posted: Jul 25, 2019 7:55 AM

Notre Dame survived a massive fire months ago, but the beloved Paris cathedral is facing a new threat: a heat wave.

The high temperatures bearing down on Europe may be a threat to the ailing building, according to Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve.

"I am very worried about the heat wave because, as you know, the Cathedral suffered from the fire, the beams coming down, but also the shock from the water from the firefighters. The masonry is saturated with water," Villeneuve told Reuters on Wednesday.

The fire destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old building and toppled the spire, which was added during a 19th-century renovation. Investigators believe that the fire started at the center of the roof and spread out, police sources said in April.

Villeneuve said that sensors were placed in the cathedral after the April 15 fire and that there has not been any movement detected since then.

"What I fear is that the joints or the masonry, as they dry, lose their coherence, their cohesion and their structural qualities and that all of sudden, the vault gives way," he said.

The vaults have not been accessible since the fire, he added.

"As I speak here, the vaults could very well collapse," Villeneuve said, "because since April 15, we haven't been able to access the vaults, neither from above nor from underneath."

The heat wave across Western and Central Europe will bring staggering temperatures to France. Meteorologists are predicting that it will reach its peak Thursday, with temperatures of 42 degrees C (107.6 Fahrenheit) expected in Paris. On Tuesday, temperatures reached 41.2 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) in the southwestern city of Bordeaux, a record for the city.

The national weather service, Météo France, put 80 of its 96 regions on high alert.

St. Joseph
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 95°
Maryville
Partly Cloudy
88° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 102°
Savannah
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 95°
Cameron
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 97°
Atchison
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 100°
Heat and humidity will continue to rise today with temperatures warming into the upper 90s this afternoon under mostly sunny skies. Heat index values will be between 107-109 this afternoon. Thursday will be even hotter with temperatures making a run for 100. Heat index values will likely top 110 on Thursday. Be cautious when spending time outside the next two days. A heat advisory remains in effect across the area until 9 PM on Thursday. Thursday night into Friday a cold front will approach our area. This will give us some isolated to scattered rain chances into the weekend as well as some cooler temperatures. Highs will be near average this weekend topping out in the mid to upper 80s.
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