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15 photos that show the rising floods in Venice, as the city's high-water season kicks off

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 13 Nov 2019

Venice, Italy, is facing its annual flooding season. Water levels peaked at 4 feet, 3 inches (1.27 meters) on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.It's high-water season in Venice, meaning that heavy rains and high tides cause the lower parts of the city, including the tourist area of St. Mark's Square, to flood.Many hotels carry rain boots for tourists as preparation during high-water season, which usually lasts from autumn through early spring.City officials also put up wooden catwalks so people can still get across Venice without walking through the floods.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.High-water season is back in Venice, Italy, where tourists and Venetians donned rubber boots and walked on catwalks to avoid being soaked in the historical city's flooded streets on Tuesday.Venice's tide forecast office told the Associated Press that water levels peaked at 4 feet, 3 inches (1.27 meters) on Tuesday morning, but the tides were expected to rise overnight.The city's high water season usually lasts from autumn through early spring. Flooding is most likely to affect the lowest parts of the city, including the tourist area of St. Mark's Square.When the city floods, water invades homes, businesses, cafes and more. On Tuesday, nursery schools were closed by officials as a precaution.Forecasts in the region suggest that rain is expected to continue for the next several days, which could mean more floods for the city.In the meantime, Venice officials have erected wooden catwalks in severely flooded areas to provide safety for people trying to get from place to place.Here are photos of Tuesday's flooding, and how residents and tourists alike faced the high tides.Residents and tourists donned rain boots and carried umbrellas as they walked through the city on catwalks raised on high stilts.The sea level around Venice has risen by a little more than 10 inches since 1870. At the same time, the land has continued to sink at a rate of 2 to 3 millimeters per year.Source: Associated PressThe phenomenon of high water, locally known as "acqua alta," happens annually in Venice, most often in late autumn through early spring.Source: Associated PressWater levels peaked at 4 feet, 3 inches (1.27 meters) in some parts of the city on Tuesday morning.Source: Associated PressMany hotels provide disposable rain boots to tourists so they can still enjoy the city.Source: Associated PressVenice authorities warn people of rising water with a siren that sounds across the city.Source: Associated PressSt. Mark's Square was closed to the public while the area faced flooding on Tuesday.When it's dry, the square is a gathering ground for pigeons, who feast on scraps from tourists.Source: Associated PressDespite St. Mark's Square being closed, some people braved the flood waters to get across the city in places without raised catwalks.Source: Associated PressDucal Palace, a tourist hotspot just off St. Mark's Square, remained open "despite exceptional tide." It urged visitors to use rickety raised walkways to reach it.Source: Associated PressTourists visit Venice year-round, even during the "acqua alta" floods.Source: Associated PressAnd Venice is used to the flooding. Many businesses continue their day-to-day activities despite the water.Source: Associated PressBut the saltwater that's been flooding Venice is eroding the foundations of buildings across the historical city.Source: Associated PressForecasters said more water is expected overnight on Tuesday. In 2018, 75% of the city was under water because of the annual floods.Source: Associated Press, InsiderThe highest "acqua alta" Venice has ever recorded was in November 1966, when floods hit 6 feet, 4 inches (1.94 meters).Source: Associated PressVenice has been trying to stop the flooding for more than a decade with a $6.5 billion infrastructure project that has been plagued with scandal and criticism.Source: Business InsiderThe infrastructure plan, called Mose, includes creating a series of underwater barriers that would prevent flooding when the tide hits 43 inches.In 2014, Venice's former mayor Giorgio Orsoni was arrested following a corruption scandal over the development of the project. The project is intended to act as a barrier to prevent high waters from encroaching on the city, Corruption and bribery have caused the project to stall out.Source: Insider
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