Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Venice Underwater

We have only the coldest memories of Venice, but although I've been there in bad weather, I've never seen flooding like this.

Floodwaters in Venice Begin to Recede : "ROME — Floodwaters in Venice began to subside on Tuesday after reaching their highest point in 22 years on Monday, forcing residents and tourists alike to stay inside or venture out in hip-waders.

On Tuesday morning, waters had dropped to 39 inches, down from a high of 61 inches on Monday, the fourth-highest flood level in contemporary history, Venice’s Tide Center said."

Because the water levels rose so quickly, the city was unable to erect the wooden platforms it uses to help pedestrians traverse the high waters. On Monday, the city sounded alarms, urging residents to stay indoors.

Venice routinely floods several times a year, but in recent years the phenomenon has worsened. Experts say global warming is the main culprit. The flooding reopened a running debate on the “Moses” project, a controversial system of offshore dams designed to prevent such flooding.

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