High tide in Venice is a common and recurring phenomenon. Sometimes meteorological conditions can cause a normal high tide (80-90cm) to rise much higher, above 110cm and often to 130-140cm. Major parts of the city goes under water when this happens.

These exceptionally high tides used to be quite rare, but unfortunately after several major interventions in the lagoon, the very high tides have become a lot more common.

Rather than a few times every decade, they now happen a few times a year. In the 1960s. when the first very deep canal was dug straight across the lagoon, it essentially created a motorway for the tide to enter the lagoon and the city at high speed.

This last week has seen some really extreme tides, of 187cm, 154cm, and 150cm, the 2nd, 7th and 8th highest tides ever registered in Venice. This within just one week.

The impact on the city and daily life has been immense. A week after the first extreme tide some shops are still closed.

The flooded city

Much of the city has flooded in these days, and the on the worst day there were two feet of water in my local street.

The aftermath of the high tide

The devastation caused by extreme high water and very strong winds was heart breaking, and pictures like these were all over the world’s news media.

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