Venice Floods As High Water Reaches Record Levels [VIDEO]

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Venice Flooding 2012
People walk through a flooded street during a period of seasonal high water in Venice.

 

 

No longer are parts of New York and New Jersey alone in weathering a great storm's wrath.

 

The other stricken city is no neighbor, however.

 

Venice, nicknamed “The Floating City,” also finds itself under water as a period of heavy rains and high tides have flooded three-quarters of the city, according to Reuters.

 

Undeterred tourists swam in city squares and sat submerged up to their heads at outdoor coffee shops, though other Italian residents were taking a more serious approach to the flooding.

 

As the high tide mark reached 59.06 inches on Sunday, 200 residents were evacuated from their homes in hard-hit Tuscany, according to local reports.

 

"I saw at least six bridges destroyed in the hills, floods, landslides, vineyards and olive groves swept away. If there hasn't been a death it's a miracle," Roberto Pucci, mayor of Massa Carrara in Tuscany, told Corriere della Sera newspaper.

 

According to local media, residents were forced to take refuge on their roofs after rivers in Central Italy burst over banks.

 

Italian officials have long sought movable barriers to protect Venice from sea bed high tide, though that infrastructure isn't expected to be available until 2014-2015.

 

All across Venice, lagoons are sinking. According to the Daily Mail, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California estimates that Venice sinks two millimeters every year, with some lagoons dropping as much as four mm each year.

 

Environmental officials said global warming is to blame for the rains and the floods. They're lobbying the Italian government for more money to advance the country's weather defenses, reports said.

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