Photos: Early week flooding leaves 70 percent of Venice underwater, more flooding possible Thursday
More than 70 percent of Venice, Italy, was under water after strong winds flooded the area by raising the water level by more than 5 feet earlier this week.
The flooding has been described as the worst to hit the city in at least a decade, according to CNN. This same storm system has been linked to at least 11 deaths across Italy.
"Geography of Venice is key to its storm-tide problem. It is nested within a lagoon at the far-northwest end of the Adriatic Sea," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.
Due to this extreme flooding, tourists and residents were seen wading in nearly waist-deep water.
St Mark’s Basilica was flooded for just the second time in the past 100 years, according to The Guardian.
Fears were rising that the damage to the historic landfall could be severe due to the extent of the flooding.
Elisa Aquino Laterza
"Winds on Monday reached 45 mph at the Marco Polo airport on the nearby mainland. Winds may have been stronger in the city itself, as it is more exposed to higher winds from open water," Andrews said.
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According to Andrews, wind direction has been southeasterly, as would be expected.
"Another factor is the air pressure difference between Venice and the southern end of the Adriatic Sea. Monday, this difference has reached 0.44 to 0.59 inches of mercury (15 to 20 millibars), which is quite significant. This pressure difference tends to lift water at the north end of the Adriatic Sea (thus Venice), contributing to the lift caused by the 'wind set' (southeasterly onshore winds)," Andrews said.
More unsettled weather is on the way for Venice and surrounding parts of Italy as a storm arrives from Thursday into Friday.
A brief period of southeasterly winds could result in renewed flooding problems Thursday into Thursday evening corresponding with high tides.
Rainfall of 13-38 mm (0.5-1.5 inches) will accompany the gusty winds and further elevate the risk for flooding.
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