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Rain puts Notre Dame Cathedral at risk for more damage

By Amanda Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
April 25, 2019, 2:06:21 PM EDT

The damaged remains of The Notre Dame Cathedral, which lost large parts of its roof and its spire in an intense fire last week, are now at risk for water damage as heavy rains are expected in Paris throughout the end of the week into the weekend.

In a race against time, the team tasked with repairing the cathedral have plans to place a tarp across the large holes in the roof to avoid greater damage to the parts of the roof that remain, as well as the famous vaulted ceilings.

"The cathedral's vault, which partly collapsed in the fire, is already partly waterlogged after fire-fighting efforts. Architects fear that heavy rainfall could result in further collapse of the 800-year-old cathedral," according to BBC News.

Notre Dame Repair 2

Workers install protections on Notre Dame cathedral Wednesday, April 24, 2019 in Paris. Professional mountain climbers were hired to install synthetic, waterproof tarps over the gutted, exposed exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral, as authorities raced to prevent further damage ahead of storms that are rolling in toward Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Professional mountain climbers have been brought in to lay the tarp across the holes, a feat that requires experience. This temporary cover will be used as crews work to remove all of the damaged scaffolding that was being utilized in the renovation efforts that were underway prior to the fire.

Rainy spells will continue to move across northern France, including Paris, through this weekend. Thunderstorms can also rumble on Friday.

Reconstruction efforts have started making a protective 'umbrella', serving as a reliable long-term solution to the gaping holes throughout the roofing. This 'umbrella' will remain in place until the holes in the roof have been restored and water damage is no longer a looming threat.

The large remains of damaged scaffolding are predicted to take a month to remove, the first major step in reconstruction efforts.

Notre Dame Repair 3

Workers, top, fix a net to cover one of the iconic stained glass windows of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2019. The fire that engulfed Notre Dame during Holy Week forced worshippers to find other places to attend Easter services, and the Paris diocese invited them to join Sunday's Mass at the grandiose Saint-Eustache Church on the Right Bank of the Seine River. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Over one billion dollars have been donated from around the world to fund the rebuilding efforts of the cathedral, according to The Washington Post. France's president, Emmanuel Macron, has vowed that the cathedral will be repaired in five years, ready to be displayed to the world in the 2024 Summer Olympic games hosted in Paris.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is still underway, investigators believe that "an electrical short caused the construction equipment being used by the workers renovating the building" according to France 24.

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