People are nearly waist-deep in water as flooding covers Venice

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The nickname “the floating city” has never been more appropriate.

Heavy rain and wind has hit Italy, and high tides near Venice have caused flooding in about 77% of the city, according to CNN. At high tide, the water rose five feet, three inches above sea level.

It is common for Venice to flood, especially during October through December, but these were the highest flooding levels since December 2008, The Guardian reported.

Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, said a project long in the making — a series of barriers in Venice’s lagoon — would have prevented the severe flooding, the Guardian said, but it has been delayed because of cost concerns.

The severe weather has caused nine deaths in Italy, including two people who died south of Rome when a tree hit their car, CNN reported.

And in a case of especially bad timing, Sunday was Venice’s Marathon. In several areas, runners had to run through water up to their ankles.

Here’s how the city looks now.

Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
Water is nearly waist deep in some parts of Venice.
Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
St. Mark’s Square was flooded on Oct. 29.

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