Wind-whipped rains lift Venice tide to 6th highest

Associated Press
People sit at the table of a bar in a flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. High tides have flooded Venice, leading Venetians and tourists to don high boots and use wooden walkways to cross St. Mark's Square and other areas under water. Flooding is common this time of year and Sunday's level that reached a peak of 58.66 inches (149 centimeters) was below the 63 inches (160 centimeters) recorded four years ago in the worst flooding in decades. (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
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VENICE, Italy (AP) — Heavy rains and seas whipped up by strong winds have flooded Venice and brought the lagoon city's high tide mark to its sixth-highest level since records began being kept 150 years ago.

Italian news reports said the same weather system that put 70 percent of central Venice under water on Sunday was wreaking havoc elsewhere in north and central Italy, with some 200 people evacuated from their homes in hard-hit Tuscany.

Flooding is common in Venice this time of year and Sunday's high tide mark of 150 centimeters (59.06 inches) marked the sixth-highest level since 1872, according to the ANSA news agency.

Moveable barriers that would rise from the sea bed to protect Venice from high tides have been in the works for years but will not be operational before 2014.

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