Venice, Italy Hit with Historic Third Flood in Less Than a Week

A city worker helps a woman who decided to cross St. Mark square on a gangway, in spite of prohibition, in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Venetians are bracing for the prospect of another exceptional tide in a season that is setting new records. Officials are forecasting a 1.6 meter (5 feet, 2 inches) surge Sunday. That comes after Tuesday’s 1.87 meter flood, the worst in 53 years, followed by high tide of 1.54 meters on Friday. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Residents of Venice, Italy are dealing with record-setting tide.

Stores and museums remained mostly closed Sunday in the hardest-hit area around St. Mark’s Square, as a 5 foot tide hit just after 1 p.m.

Officials took precautions, such as stacking sandbags in canal-side windows of St. Mark’s Basilica, to keep water from entering the crypt again.

Last Tuesday, a 6-foot 2-inch flood, the worst in 53 years, blanketed the region, while another 5-foot high tide occurred Friday.

According to the city’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, flooding damages are in “the hundreds of millions.” In addition, officials have declared a state of emergency.

They also deployed 280 civil protection volunteers from throughout the region to assist as needed. Additional volunteers in rubber boots have appeared at key sites, such as the city’s Music Conservatory, in order to save manuscripts from the invading salt water.

Since officials began keeping records in 1872, that level of flooding has not been reached even twice in one year, let alone three times in a single week.