Elizabeth Dale and her partner Richard Williams are visiting the Italian city, where a state of emergency has been declared amid the highest water levels in more than 50 years. The high-water mark hit 187 centimeters late Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.
"We ask the government to help us, the costs will be high", Brugnaro tweeted.
"It was unbelievable, the water rose so quickly", said resident Tiziano Collarin, 59, as he surveyed the damage.
What has the prime minister promised?
The city monitors water levels attentively and customarily prepares for the high tides. The adjacent Saint Mark's Basilica was flooded for only the sixth time in 1,200 years.
"I have often seen St. Mark's Square covered with water", Venice's patriarch, Monsignor Francesco Moraglia, told reporters. As he spoke civil protection workers checked the crypt for structural damage. "In all likelihood the damage runs into the hundreds of millions of euros".
In the Croatian town of Split, authorities on Wednesday said that the flooding submerged the basement area of the Roman-era Diocletian's Palace where emergency crews battled to pump out the water.
The city's high water season usually lasts from autumn through early spring.
One merchant told the mayor that his business relied on tourism, but that his kiosk was swept away by the tide. The town of Venice is made up of greater than 100 islands inside a lagoon off the north-east coast of Italy. It suffers flooding on a yearly basis. The water level hit 6.14 feet Tuesday evening, according to the city's tide forecast office - falling just short of a record set in November 1966 at 6 feet 4 inches.
On Wednesday afternoon, the death toll stood at two; according to the Independent's Samuel Osborne, both victims died on Pellestrina, an island in the Venetian archipelago.
This flood was compounded by heavy rains coinciding with a full moon that brought high tides that were pushed into Venice by southerly winds.
The official Twitter account of the City of Venice public transportation company Azienda Veneziana della Mobilita SpA and members of the public were using the Italian hashtag #acquaalta to post updates about the situation on social media. The project, which was first tested in 2013, has cost billions of euros and may finally be ready for implementation in 2021, the BBC reported. Work began in 2003 but has been dogged by delays and myriad issues, including a corruption scandal that emerged in 2014.
A couple of French tourists said they had "effectively swum" after some of the wooden platforms placed around the city in flood-prone areas overturned. Late autumn and winter is the season for acqua alta in Venice, and there were similar scenes in Venice at the end of October previous year, when another unusually high tide flooded the lagoon city. "These are the results of climate change, and the prices will likely be excessive".
The sea level around Venice has risen by a little more than 10 inches since 1870.
More flooding driven by strong winds and storms is expected Thursday.
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