As tourists frolic in Venice’s rising waters, locals fear for the city’s treasures

On Wednesday, the floor was dry but a yellow sign reading “Attention: Wet Pavement” stood ready by the entrance.

Outside, though, the water still filled St. Mark’s Square. As tourists climbed the steep steps to the basilica’s balcony, the Roman Catholic patriarch of Venice, Msgr. Francesco Moraglia, checked in on his church.

See also Museums are ready for the next natural disaster. Are you?Outside the church, traffic and road rage were in full display on the raised wooden walkways. An American woman elbowed a group of Chinese tourists who sought to cut the line.

On Thursday, high tides brought the water back all across the city, flooding the narrow streets up to people’s ankles and shins. The thumping sound of rolling luggage was replaced by the sandpaper scratching of the yellow, orange and blue plastic bags that tourists bought to cover their shoes and ankles.

> Read entire article As tourists frolic in Venice’s rising waters, locals fear for the city’s treasures | Jason Horowitz | New York Times

70% of Venice covered in water by flooding

Venice frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but Monday’s levels were exceptional. The peak level was the highest reached since December 2008, according to Venice statistics.

The last time levels topped 160 centimeters, which had been forecast, was in December 1979.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said a series of underwater barriers being erected in the lagoon, nicknamed Moses, would have prevented the inundation. The project is long overdue, beset by cost overruns and corruption scandals.

Brugnaro said he had requested to speak with the Premier Giuseppe Conte to underline the urgency of the project, which would raise barriers when the tide reaches 43 inches. That happens on average four times a year.

> Read entire article 70 percent of Venice covered in water by flooding | Associated Press | Washington Post

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