Heavy rain over the past few days has caused Venice, the famous city of canals, to become largely submerged. Due to the ongoing hazardous conditions, schools have been closed and officials are discouraging non-essential travel.
While high tides are common in Venice — the city often experiences some flooding between October and December — Monday’s flooding is unlike anything the city has seen for decades. The tide has risen a staggering five feet, three inches above sea level, flooding over 77 percent of the city, and making this the highest tide recorded since 1979. Barriers have been placed across doorways of homes and businesses to hold back the water, and shopkeepers are using buckets to remove water from their shops. The iconic Piazza San Marco was completely submerged, now resembling a lake more than a town square.
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And it’s not just Venice being battered by the wind and rain. Rome also issued a warning for strong winds, heavy rain, and violent storms, especially in the region’s coastal areas. The winds have caused dozens of trees across Rome to be uprooted, and popular sites like the Colosseum and Pompeii have been temporarily closed. Just south of Rome, two people were killed when a falling tree hit their car, and in Liguria, to the north, a woman was struck and killed by debris blown off a building.
Although today the tides are expected to somewhat subside, they will still sit at about three feet above sea level, keeping around 12 percent of the city submerged.
H/T: BuzzFeed News