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Highest tide in 50 years floods Venice

People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street in Venice.
People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street in Venice. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images

Venice's mayor declared a state of emergency and closed all schools after the highest high tide in more than 50 years hit the city on Tuesday night, according to the New York Times.

What's happening: Sea water rose to around six feet before 11 p.m. on Tuesday, and at least one person has died as a result. Famous tourist locations, like St. Mark’s Square and the crypt of St. Mark’s Basilica, were flooded by more than three feet on Wednesday.

  • It was the city's worst flooding since 1966, when it experienced tides up to 6.3 feet high.

What they're saying: Lorenzo Bonometto, an expert on lagoon ecology, told the Times that high-tide flooding is normal, but a combination of high tide and strong winds made Tuesday's flooding “an exceptional event."

What's next: More high water is expected in the coming days.

Go deeper: Italy becomes first country to require students to learn about climate change