The Italian city of Venice is world famous, not only for its gondolas, but also for the fact that the city regularly floods at high tide in the Adriatic Sea.
The new flood defense system has now been rigorously tested.
– Technically it went well, says Gia Destouni, professor of hydrology at Stockholm University. The tests started in the fall and the system has managed to protect Venice from flooding from two tidal waves.
The barriers remain of a long series of 20 meter wide metal boxes usually on the bottom of the lagoon filled with water. When the weather service warns of high tide, there should be a signal to air pumps that push air into the boxes so that they float up and form a barrier to the rising sea.
That’s how it should work.
– But now in December there was at least a flood. They came because the barriers were not lifted in time, says Gia Destouni.
Early December 2020 St. Mark’s Square was flooded again as so often. It made headlines around the world.
– But it was not because there were faults in the barriers, says Gia Destouni. This appears to have been caused by poor communication and misjudgments about the coming high water, which prevented the flood defenses from being activated.
– Logistics they have to keep working with the protocol a little bit, or a lot… when and how to deal with these moving barriers.
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