Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 52139
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2019/05/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2008/12/1-6 [Science/Space] UID:52139 Activity:nil
12/1    "Highest tide in 20 years floods historic Venice - Yahoo! News"
        Flooding in Venice?  Isn't Venice the "City of Water" which is always
        flooded anyway?
        \_ Venice is frequently, but not always, flooded. There was a good
           Nova eps. about flooding in Venice and possible solutions a few
           years ago:
2019/05/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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People wade through high water by Venice's Rialto Bridge, northern Italy, AP - People wade through high water by Venice's Rialto Bridge, northern Italy, Monday, Dec. Slideshow: Venice suffers severe flooding VENICE, Italy - Venice could use a bailout. Residents and tourists waded through knee-deep water Monday as they navigated the city's narrow streets and alleys, and its historic St. Boxes of tourist merchandise floated inside the flooded shops around the square and even the city's famed pigeons sought refuge on rooftops and windowsills. One of the highest tides in its history brought Venice to a virtual halt, rekindling a debate over a plan to build moveable flood barriers in an effort to save the lagoon city from high tides. City officials said the tide peaked at 61 inches (156 centimeters), well past the 40-inch (110-centimeter) flood mark, as strong winds pushed the sea into the city. Alarms went off at 6:37 am to alert citizens, but many residents were taken by surprise because authorities had initially not forecast such a high water level. Mark's Square, one of the city's lowest points, tourists tried to stay dry by hopping on cafe tables and chairs sticking out of the water. The water was so high that someone rowed a small speedboat across the wide square. "It was quite an extraordinary experience," said Michel Gorski, visiting from Brussels with his wife. "We got stuck in the hotel for half a day but we didn't suffer. We were sorry for the restaurants and stores around, but there was no panic and everyone worked really hard to clean up quickly." Workers were unable to install the traditional raised wooden walkways used during flooding because the water rose so high the platforms would have floated away too. "There are very few streets that are water-free," admitted city spokesman Enzo Bon. In an ironic twist, the flooding also idled the city's water buses because their boarding platforms were underwater. Bon had no reports of damage to the city's architectural jewels, and the Culture Ministry was monitoring the situation. It was the fourth highest tide since 1872, when the city started keeping records. The last time Venice saw such high waters was in 1986, while the all-time record was 76 inches (194 centimeters) in 1966. That flood forced 3,000 people to evacuate and damaged many historic buildings, but largely spared the city's art -- which had long ago been removed to upper floors because of frequent flooding by tides. "In Venice, we know how to live with high water," said Bon. "Of course there are some problems, because today's was an exceptional event." Giancarlo Galan, the conservative governor of the surrounding Veneto region, criticized Venice's center-left administration for failing to prepare for the flood and for allegedly stonewalling a long-planned system of barriers that would rise from the seabed to ease the effect of high tides. The company building the barriers said, had the system been in place, the city would not have been flooded Monday. Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari insisted the city's experts had done a good job and had revised their forecasts well before the water came in. Cacciari, who has criticized the barriers, said the government-backed project would be completed. With low tide setting in and waters receding Monday afternoon, some tourists were charmed by the water wonderland. "The hotel had to turn off the gas and the electricity, but they made us a nice candlelit cold lunch," said Yacob Laurent, a visitor from Paris. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Answers to frequently asked questions Sinking City of Venice: Experts struggle to save the City of Canals before it vanishes beneath the waves. See the Gates in Action Watch a five-minute video about the proposed special barriers designed to hold back the sea. Weighing the Solutions John Keahey, author of Venice Against the Sea, describes how Venetians are dealing with sinking. Venice Under Siege Using clickable satellite images, zoom in on natural and man-made hazards imperiling the city. Support authoritative science programming like NOVA by making a pledge to your local PBS station today.