More Than 70 Percent Of Venice Is Underwater After Extreme Flooding
By Sharelle Burt
The city of Venice has been hit with some extreme weather over the past few days, with a high tide Monday that put much of the famous city under water. Massive floods have swallowed other parts of Italy and heavy winds have brought down many trees, killing six people in its path. More than 70 percent of the historic city is underwater, according to Accuweather.
Residents may be used to this type of weather as Venice is known for frequent floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but Monday’s weather was on another level. Venice statistics say the peak level was the highest reached since December 2008. Tourists and residents styled high boots to walk the flooded streets after strong winds raised the water level well about five feet. Transport officials closed the water bus system except to outlying islands because of the emergency.
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said a series of underwater barriers that are currently being worked on could have possibly prevented the flooding. Nicknamed Moses, the project is long overdue but is being interrupted by cost overruns and corruption scandals. Brugnaro said he had asked to talk with Premier Giuseppe Conte to expedite the urgency of the project. This project will raise barriers when the tide reaches 43 inches, which happens, on average, four times a year in Venice.
In an attempt to prevent flooding on the inside, residents and businesses reinforce their doors with metal or wooden panels to prevent water from entering bottom floors, but photos floating around on social media show shop owners using water pumps this time to protect their belongings. Much of Italy is still under alert for flooding from heavy rains, a huge problem caused by the lack of maintenance of the country’s many river beds. High winds have knocked down trees, killing passers-by in Naples, Lazio, and Liguria.
Tourists are out of luck to sightsee after officials closed major attractions in Rome, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum.