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December 3, 2008

Venice under water

The recent "acqua alta" (high water) in Venice, Italy reached a depth of 1.56 meters (5 ft, 1 in.) on Monday - the deepest flood in 22 years, and the fourth highest flood level in recent history, claimed Venice's Tide Center. The water began to subside on Tuesday, while residents and tourists made their way through the city, hip-waders or not - one man even took the opportunity to ride his wakeboard through Piazza San Marco (until police stepped in). Although this flood was severe enough for the mayor to ask tourists to temporarily stay home, Venetian floods are fairly routine, several occurring every year, and residents usually take it all in stride. (25 photos total)

Tourists take photos of each other in the flooded Piazza San Marco in Venice December 1, 2008. Large parts of Venice were flooded on Monday as heavy rains and strong winds lashed the lagoon city, with sea levels at their highest level in 22 years. Ferry and water taxi services in the city were suspended and Venice's mayor urged people to stay indoors. Tourists and residents struggled to get across the city over raised walkways. The Centro Maree, which forecasts water levels, said sea levels in the Adriatic rose 1.56 meters (5.1 ft) - a level not seen since 1986. (REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri)

Duncan Zuur of the Netherlands rides a wakeboard across flooded Piazza San Marco in Venice, December 2, 2008. (REUTERS/Handout/Euro-Newsroom.com/Joerg Mitter) #

A woman waits for a boat during floods on December 1, 2008 in Venice. Authorities in the Italian city of Venice issued a flood alert, warning that the sea was due to rise 1.60 meters above its normal level, the highest for 30 years. Nearly all the streets of the city, including the central tourist district were already under water by mid-morning with the famous Piazza San Marco by 80 centimeters (two feet, seven inches). (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tourists walk across on boards used to create walkways over the high water in the flooded Piazza San Marco on December 2, 2008 in Venice, Italy. (Franco Debernardi/Getty Images) #

Shopkeepers block the entrance of their shop with a wood panel as water rises in the streets of Venice on December 1, 2008. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A gondola passes through flood waters near Rialto Bridge on December 2, 2008 in Venice, Italy. (Franco Debernardi/Getty Images) #

A man wades through the Piazza San Marco during floods on December 1, 2008 in Venice. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A view of the flooded Piazza San Marco on December 1, 2008 in Venice. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

People walk on a flooded quay of the Grand canal of Venice on December 1, 2008. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A view of a flooded dock area of Venice on December 1, 2008. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man stands on a boat at Piazza San Marco during floods on December 1, 2008 in Venice. (SEBASTIANO CASELLATI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man walks on a flooded quay of Venice on December 1, 2008. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tourists wade through flood waters in a shopping district of Venice, Italy on December 1, 2008. (REUTERS/Michele Crosera) #

Women sit on a table while water rises in their shoe shop during floods on December 1, 2008 in Venice. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

People walk on a flooded oceanside walkway of Venice on December 1, 2008. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A view of a flooded Piazza San Marco, with St. Mark's Basilica in the background, in Venice, northern Italy, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini) #

Men share a drink on a flooded plaza near the Rialto bridge on December 1, 2008 in Venice. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A postman carries envelopes through flood waters in Venice December 1, 2008. (REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri) #

People wade past gondolas in Venice on December 1, 2008. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A view of Piazza San Marco and the Doge's Palace (right) taken during floods on December 1, 2008 in Venice, Italy. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

People wade through high water near a canal bridge in Venice, Italy, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini) #

People walk on Piazza San Marco for the second day under water on December 2, 2008 in Venice. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO) #

A woman walks through floodwaters on Piazza San Marco during floods on December 1, 2008 in Venezia. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Duncan Zuur of the Netherlands rides a wakeboard along a canal next to flooded St. Mark's square in Venice, Italy on December 2, 2008. (REUTERS/Handout/Euro-Newsroom.com/Joerg Mitter) #

Customers stand in flood waters in a pastry shop in Venice December 1, 2008. Tourists and residents struggled to get across the city over raised walkways. The Centro Maree, which forecasts water levels, said sea levels in the Adriatic rose 1.56 meters (5.1 ft). (REUTERS/Michele Crosera) #

 
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