2014 'worst on record' for Venice high tides

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Venice was awash with water in 2014. Venice photo: Shutterstock
10:49 CET+01:00
High tides are nothing new in Venice and tourists are often seen donning waterproofs and carrying their umbrellas when the high water overflows onto the charming alleys surrounding its historic sites.

But in 2014 the lagoon city was awash and its weather and sea forecasting body, the Istituzione Centro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree, said it was one of the worst on record.

Weather officials said there were 189 incidents when the tides were equal to or higher than 80 centimetres and 15 cases when the waters rose above 110 centimetres.

According to Italian media reports, officials said a higher number of incidents was recorded only in 2010, when the number of cases rose to 202.

The highest tide recorded in 2014 saw waters rise to 125 centimetres on January 31st, but authorities stressed there was no shock flooding recorded to higher levels above 140 centimetres.

Nevertheless, Paolo Canestrelli, the director of the city’s weather and sea centre, said 2014 had been a very tough year and stressed that all the data confirmed the trend that tides were rising higher.

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A total of 118 of the 189 cases recorded water levels between 80 and 90 cms.

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