People walk in a flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. The high tide reached a peak of 127cm (4.1ft) at 10:35am while an even higher level of 140cm(4.6ft) was predicted for later Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Venice flooding nearly touches level of infamous 1966 flood

November 13, 2019 - 2:40 am

MILAN (AP) — Flooding in the canal city of Venice has reached the second-highest level ever, after infamous 1966 floods.

The high-water mark hit 187 centimeters (74 inches) late Tuesday, meaning more than 85% of the city was flooded. The highest level ever recorded was 198 centimeters (78 inches) in 1966.

Venice's mayor blamed climate change for the "dramatic situation" and called for a speedy completion of a long-delayed project to construct off-shore barriers. Called "Moses," the moveable under-sea barriers are meant to limit flooding of the city, caused by southerly winds that push the tide into Venice.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said that the flood levels represent "a wound that will leave indelible signs." Photos on social media show city ferry and taxi boats grounded on walkways flanking canals.

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