Flooding in Italy Turns Deadly

November 13, 2012; 1:25 AM
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An aerial view of the area around the town of Orte, near Rome, where homes and infrastructures were damaged by flood water Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, as heavy rains battered north, central Italy and hard-hit Tuscany. Three people died after their car fell off a bridge that collapsed due to severe rainfalls, Tuesday near the town of Grosseto, Tuscany. (AP Photo/Giuseppe Palozzi)

Several consecutive days of heavy rainfall have led to devastating flooding across much of northern and central Italy.

A series of potent frontal systems crossed the peninsula starting this past weekend. For many, Thursday marked a fifth consecutive day with over a half of an inch (13 millimeters) of rainfall.

The river city of Venice was hardest hit by heavy rainfall as flood waters in the city on Sunday reached its sixth highest level since records began in 1872, according to the Italian Weather Service, and the highest since 2008.

In recent days, the state of Tuscany has endured the brunt of flooding concerns. On Wednesday, the governor of the state, Enrico Rossi, pleaded for help from the country's army after over a handful of bridges were destroyed and four people lost their lives, according to Reuters.

Some Italian meteorological officials blame global warming for the marked increase and ferocity of storms in recent years, noting that November precipitation totals have exceeded 100 mm (3.93 inches) 11 times in the last 40 years and seven times since 1999. The country averages 80 mm (3.14 inches) of rain for the month.

After a trough of low pressure exited the region on Thursday, much of northern and central Italy will be dry Thursday night through Saturday as an area of high pressure takes control, according to AccuWeather.com meteorologists. This will allow flood waters to recede and provide residents the opportunity to assess property damage.

After another storm system crosses through for the first half of next week, dry weather is expected to return for much of the remainder of November.

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