Venice flooding overtook 70 percent of the Italian city with up to five feet of water in low-lying areas like St. Marks Square. The record rainfall produced inestimable damages over the past three days, and marks the sixth-worst flood in the city since 1872.
Despite Venice's flooding over the past three days, some managed to enjoy it. News of tourists enjoying the high water in St. Marks Square were reported, even as 200 people had to be evacuated from their homes in Tuscany.
"Tourists in swimming costumes sat at café tables under the water," Reuters reported.
Strong winds blew waters from the Adriatic Sea into the city, while a torrential downpour— about 9 inches of rain in four hours in Tuscany and parts of northern Italy— caused the Ricortola and Parmignola rivers to overflow, the regional government told Reuters. Although some of the water dumped on the country has receded, officials were still worried that the Tiber and Anienne rivers could cause further flooding.
The flood has caused incalculable damage to the beautiful city of Venice, washing away whole businesses and homes. Southern Tuscany— particularly the Maremma zone— has taken the brunt of the flooding, with some towns being isolated as their roads and bridges were demolished.
"It has been devastating," Roberto Pucci, mayor of Massa Carrara in Tuscany, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper. "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."
Unfortunately, four deaths have been reported since the waters began rising. Three electricity workers died when their car fell off a collapsed bridge Tuesday, adding to the death toll. Many others took refuge on the roofs of their houses, avoiding the water that carried dangerous debris.
Venice often floods during the wintertime. A barrier being constructed to help protect the city will be completed by 2015, according to Reuters.