VENICE was inundated by an exceptional high tide Monday, putting three-quarters of the famed Italian lagoon city under water as large swathes of the rest of Italy experienced flooding and heavy winds that toppled trees and other objects, killing six people.
Tourists and residents alike donned high boots to navigate the streets of Venice after strong winds raised the water level 156 centimetres before receding. The water exceeded the raised walkways normally put out in flooded areas in Venice, forcing their removal. Transport officials closed the water bus system except to outlying islands because of the emergency.
Venice frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but Monday’s levels were exceptional. The peak level was the highest reached since December 2008, according to Venice statistics.