Venice hit with a historic third major flood in less than a week

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Venetians coped with another exceptional tide Sunday in a season that is setting records while other parts of Italy wrestled with a cornucopia of weather woes, from rain-swollen rivers to high winds to an out-of-season avalanche.

Stores and museums in Venice were mostly closed in the hardest-hit area around St. Mark’s Square, but tourists donning high rubber boots or even hip waders still came to witness and photograph the spectacle.

Most were disappointed when officials closed down the historic square as winds ripple across the rising waters. The doors of the famed St. Mark’s Basilica were securely shut to the public, while officials took precautions — stacking sandbags in canal-side windows — to prevent water from entering the crypt again.

Venice’s Tide Office said the peak tide of 1.5 meters (nearly 5 feet) hit just after 1 p.m., as a weather front off the coast blocked southerly winds from the Adriatic Sea from pushing the tide to the predicted level of 1.6 meters (5 feet, 2 inches).

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