The Piazza San Marco was submerged by over one meter (more than 3 feet) of water Tuesday night, and Venice’s crown jewel, the Basilica San Marco, was flooded for the fourth time in the last two decades. It last flooded in the fall of 2018
, causing around €2.2 million ($2.4 million) in damage. According to Reuters
, the Archbishop Francesco Moraglia said at a news conference: “The Basilica is suffering structural damage because the water has risen and so it's causing irreparable damage, especially when it dries out in the lower section of the mosaics and tiling.” Brugnaro estimated the financial impact of the current flooding would be hundreds of millions of euros.
The 1.87 meter highwater mark falls just short of the great 1966 flood, when waters reached 1.94 meters (6.4 feet) above sea level. Although flooding has slightly subsided, it is expected to worsen, with a maximum tide height of 1.3 meters expected on Thursday. Some Venetians claim the flooding is exacerbated by the lack of three barriers that should stand at the openings between the lagoon and the sea around Venice, which were originally expected to be completed in 2011 but are still unfinished.