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Venice braces for another exceptional tide, tourists flee

Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is seen in St. Mark's Square during a solidarity visit to Venice following the exceptional high water that brought the city to its knees, in Venice, northern Italy, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Four days ago, the Italian lagoon city experienced its worst flooding in more than 50 years. (Andrea Merola/ANSA via AP)

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Venetians are bracing for the prospect of another exceptional tide in a season that is setting records.

Officials are forecasting a 1.6 meter (5 feet, 2 inch) surge of water Sunday through the lagoon city. That comes after Tuesday’s 1.87-meter flood, the worst in 53 years, followed by high tide of 1.54 meters on Friday.

Those two events mark the first time since records began in 1872 that two floods topped 1.5 meters in the same year — much less the same week. The city’s mayor says the flooding damages are in “the hundreds of millions” and Italian officials have declared a state of emergency for the area.

Tourists with suitcases were rushing to grab the last water taxis to get to the mainland Sunday before service is interrupted in anticipation of the high tide.

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