Venice has been inundated by an exceptional high tide which put three-quarters of the lagoon city under water. Large swathes of the rest of Italy have also experienced flooding and heavy winds which toppled trees, killing eleven people.
Schools remained closed on Tuesday in many regions. Century-old pine trees toppled in Rome, blocking roads and clogging traffic.
Violent thunderstorms, small tornadoes that blew roofs off homes, and hurricane-force winds lashed Italy from Piedmont to Sicily early this week, leaving at least 11 people dead.
Many more people got injured and firefighters and other rescue workers are scrambling to respond to emergency calls.
Tourists and residents donned high boots to navigate the streets on Monday after strong winds raised the water level 156 cm – more than 5 feet – before receding.
Water levels exceeded the raised walkways normally erected in flooded areas of the city, forcing their removal. Transport officials also closed the water-bus system, except to outlying islands, due to the emergency.
Residents and businesses typically reinforce their doors with metal or wooden panels to prevent water from entering but, this time, photos on social media showed shop owners using water pumps to try to protect their wares.
Much of Italy is under flood alert due to heavy rains, a problem exacerbated by a lack of maintenance of the country’s many river beds. High winds toppled trees that killed passersby in three accidents in Naples and Lazio.
Officials closed major tourist attractions in Rome, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum, early due to heavy rains.
It may not be visible to the eye, but structures age because of the salt water drenching the bricks, which were not meant to remain underwater for long; that goes for bronze.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in towns in the mountainous Trentino-Alto Adige region, northwest of Venice, after rivers rose over their banks. Newspapers described fish swimming in the streets of one town.
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