It was an event that was never meant to happen again.
After suffering centuries of flooding, Venice held back the sea for the first time in 1,200 years in October, thanks to the activation of its long-awaited flood barriers.
Tested for the first time in adverse conditions, their successful deployment kept the historic center dry for the first time in the city’s history. It meant that the devastating floods of 2019 — which caused over one billion dollars worth of damage to the city — should be a thing of the past.
In the two months since its introduction, at the start of what would traditionally be the flooding season, the barrier system, has been successfully activated five times — including for a three-day period last week.
But last week, the barriers were not raised, and the city flooded again. St. Mark’s Square, one of the lowest parts of the city, was particularly badly hit, with water thigh deep.
The system was not activated due to an inaccurate weather forecast.