Venice is flooded despite the previous success of new flood defenses | NOW

Much of Venice, including St. Mark’s Square, will be under water on Tuesday. The flood defenses to protect the Italian city are not working properly, says mayor Luigi Brugnaro.

Amid strong gusts of wind and heavy rainfall, the water level in the city threatens to rise to a height of 1.45 meters. Local authorities fear half a million euros in damage to the historic city, based on the weather forecast. It may be necessary to declare code red.

In October, the multi-billion-euro flood barrier with movable barriers succeeded several times to protect the city against flooding. Even after that, it was possible to stop two more tidal waves, the mayor recently said full of praise. This is despite the fact that the flood defense is not expected to be completed until 2021. It is still unclear what is going wrong now.

The barriers of the flood defense are built to close at a water height of 1.10 meters. However, to close the doors, action must be taken 48 hours in advance. The mayor wants this to go faster in order to respond to suddenly changing weather conditions. The flood defense has been under construction since 2003.

Last year also heavy flooding

In November 2019, Venice was already hit by the worst flooding since 1966. The water level rose to 1.87 meters; during the flood in 1966 it was 1.94 meters. Mayor Brugnaro attributes the high water to climate change at the time.

Other parts of Italy also have to contend with severe weather, which has already claimed several victims. There is a real chance of landslides and avalanches. The highest alert level is in force in Rome and the north-east of Italy.


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