More than 75% of the Italian city of Venice was inundated by high tides, leaving most of the so-called “Floating City” with the worst flooding in a decade.

After two days of heavy rain across Italy, Venice, known for its iconic waterways, can hopefully begin to recover.
At least 11 people have died across Italy due to severe weather in the past days, including landslides and flooding.
In Venice, where the flood waters are only just now beginning to recede, police tweeted photos of officers rescuing tourists stranded by the rising waters.Why is Venice flooded? One answer is climate change, which has turned the lagoon city’s proximity to the sea problematic in recent years.
Some estimates suggest the Mediterranean Sea levels will rise five feet by the end of the century, which could cause the city to flood twice daily.

Another reason Venice is flooded has to do with corruption. For decades, city officials have been planning and working to erect a series of flood barriers.

Construction on underwater flood barriers, known as the Moses project, started in 1966 but didn’t get going in earnest until 2004.

In 2014, Venice’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni, along with 30 others, was arrested for charges including corruption, illicit party financing, and tax fraud totaling $6.8 billion.

Orsoni was accused of taking roughly $635,000 (€560,000) in illicit campaign financing from the consortium behind the flood barrier.
And while that may have been among the higher-profile corruption cases associated with Moses, it was by no means the first. Previous arrests targeted individuals charged with rigging contracts.

If and when the project is finally completed and fully operational, flood gates will go up once the tide reaches 110 centimeters, or roughly 43 inches.

That won’t keep water out of low-lying areas, such as St. Mark’s Square, but it should protect much of Venice from flooding for roughly the next 3 decades, depending on how quickly sea level rises between now and then.

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