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Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 11/12/2012

Venice flooding swamps 70 percent of city


People sit at the table of a bar in a flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. High tides have flooded Venice, leading Venetians and tourists to don high boots and use wooden walkways to cross St. Mark's Square and other areas under water. (Luigi Costantini - AP)

Sunday’s tide in Venice, Italy reached it sixth-highest level since 1872 as strong winds funneled water up the Adriatic Sea. Up to 70 percent of central Venice was flooded according to Italian news reports. Photos show businesses, homes and tourist sites inundated with water.

“Tourists in swimming costumes sat at cafe tables under the water,” reported Reuters, which said no immediate damage estimate was available.


Left: Simulation of pressure systems and precipitation at noon local time Sunday. Right: Simulation of wind speed (knots) and direction on Sunday local time (WeatherBell.com adapted by Capital Weather Gang)
Two large weather systems combined to produce some of Venice’s worst flooding in decades. A large area of low pressure over the Mediterranean joined forces with high pressure over the Balkans (extending all the way into Russia) to push wind and water up the Adriatic Sea.

“The median level of the Adriatic Sea swelled to about 1.4 metres (1.5 yards) above normal - the highest in nearly two years - sending water from the lagoon into St. Mark’s Square and many narrow alleyways,” Reuters reported.

The converging atmospheric flow also produced torrential rains in parts of northern Italy.

“In Tuscany, 23 centimetres (9 inches) of rain fell in four hours, causing the Ricortola and Parmignola rivers to flood, according to the regional government,” Reuters said.

The Daily Mail said 200 people in Tuscany were forced from their homes due to the flooding.

See dramatic pictures of the Venice flooding below...


A view of Piazza San Marco flooded by the high tide in Venice, Italy, 11 November 2012. (ANDREA MEROLA - EPA)


People walk in a flooded street during a period of seasonal high water in Venice November 11, 2012. (STRINGER/ITALY - REUTERS)


A man rests in a shop in a flooded street during a period of seasonal high water in Venice November 11, 2012. T (STRINGER/ITALY - REUTERS)


Three people jump into floodwaters on Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy, 11 November 2012. (ANDREA MEROLA - EPA)


People walk in a flooded street during a 'acqua alta' on November 11, 2012 in Venice (AFP - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


Tourists walk on footbridges during a 'acqua alta' on November 11, 2012 in Venice. (AFP - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

By  |  01:18 PM ET, 11/12/2012

Categories:  International Weather, Latest, Latest

 
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