Venice Faces Worst Floods in 10 Years, Stranding Tourists and Threatening Travel Destination

A European city crisscrossed by waterways is facing too much water altogether.

Officials estimate that up to 75 percent of Venice, Italy, is flooded amid intense winds, the BBC reported. The water reached its highest level since December 2008, according to the Associated Press.

Across Italy, at least nine people have died due to the storms, Reuters reported. People hit by trees in Rome, Terracina and Naples were among the dead, according to CNN. A woman was killed by debris in Liguria, and a firefighter was killed while volunteering in San Martino.

“The exceptional wave of bad weather leaves us with a dramatic toll: nine dead, four serious injuries and one person missing,” Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said, according to the outlet.

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In Venice, St. Mark’s Square was closed on Monday due to more than five feet of water, and the water bus system was open only to surrounding islands.

Venice’s walkways were removed after they were submerged in water. Tourists walked through water up to their waists, while competitors ran in the Venice Marathon on Sunday despite the conditions.

Sea levels around Venice have been rising because of climate change, Newsweek reported. The water approaches 43 inches about four times each year.

The bad weather stretches to other parts of Europe. Mountainous parts of France and Italy were buried under snow, according to The Guardian. About 170 tourists and staffers were unable to travel after snow fell near the Swiss border, and 1,000 people could not get out of their cars in France overnight because of snow in the Massif Central area.

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195,000 homes lost power in France, and 21,000 homes went without power in Corsica. Rivers threatened to flood in Austria, The Guardian reported.

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