Venice residents and tourists have been forced by the worst flooding the city has seen in more than 20 years, to wade through knee-high water (photo, from iht.com).
On Monday morning alarms went off to alert citizens.
Following heavy rains, the sea level topped 61 inches (156 centimeters) on Monday, well past the 40-inch flood mark, city officials said.
“There are very few streets that are water-free”, said a city spokesman, Enzo Bon.
St. Mark’s Square is one of the spots affected, as the landmark piazza that is the lowest point in the city.
Because the water rose too high and too quickly, workers were unable to install the raised wooden walkways used during flooding. And many of the water taxis have been forced to suspend service, said Mr Bon.
TV footage showed people rolling up their pants or wearing rubber boots as they walked through the water. Some had plastic wrapped around their legs, while some tourists in St. Mark’s walked on chairs left in the piazza.
According to city officials, the last time Venice registered such high waters was in 1986. The all-time record took place in 1966, with 194 centimeters.