The Catania area was hit with a rare storm yesterday, and it caused widespread flooding. One man drowned in his car after the floodwaters swept him away. Another died when he stepped into an open hole in the street that had been filled with water by the storm.
The flooding was so bad that scores of residents were trapped in their homes and cars as the waters rose. Resident Antonio Shunzino told reporters, We haven’t seen anything like this for years.
Authorities had to rescue people from roofs as floodwaters rose as high as six meters 20 ft above ground level throughout the area. One man said he had to climb up to his roof and wait nine hours for rescue after the floodwaters submerged his ground-floor apartment.
Many rivers in Sicily overflowed their banks, causing roads and bridges to collapse under the force of the water. The flooding is blamed on a weather system that brought 100 mm 4 in of rain to the Catania area in a single day.
People have been urged to stay home from work and school for at least one more day as cleanup of the flooded areas continues.
Heavy rainfall in northern Italy caused severe flooding in Venice, which killed at least 7 people and forced over 100 to be rescued from the rising waters.
Venice saw its highest water level in a decade, and it shut down many of the city’s famous tourist attractions such as St. Marks Square and the Rialto Bridge.
The unusually heavy rains that hit Venice are part of a massive weather system that has been dumping torrential rain on Italy for the past several days. More rain is expected in northern Italy today, and even more in Venice over the weekend.
People living near the Po River were evacuated yesterday afternoon after water burst through a levee downstream of Parma.
The mayor of Parma said the situation hasn’t reached crisis-level yet , but added that the city was prepared to evacuate people if necessary.
Another official said that the rain has saturated northern Italy, and many of the rivers are spilling over their banks because there’s just too much water for them to hold. Parts of northern Italy were under a state of emergency due to the flooding.
A cold front moving across Italy caused the heavy rain, and forecasters predict that it will bring more rain to southern Italy this weekend. The flooding has forced schools to close in parts of northern Italy, and several cities have canceled carnival parades that were supposed to happen over the weekend.
Authorities said they’re prepared for further flooding because hundreds of thousands of sandbags have already been distributed.
Heavy rainfall led to floods across much of northern Italy, including the city of Venice where several people were reported dead or missing. The flooding has closed down many roads and prompted authorities to evacuate residents from their homes in areas near the Po River