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Wind-whipped rains flood Venice

A tourist crossed flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice.

AP

A tourist crossed flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice.

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Heavy rains and seas whipped up by strong winds have flooded Venice and brought the lagoon city’s high tide mark to its sixth-highest level since records began being kept 150 years ago.

Italian news reports said the same weather system that put 70 percent of central Venice under water on Sunday was wreaking havoc elsewhere in north and central Italy, with some 200 people evacuated from their homes in hard-hit Tuscany.

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Flooding is common in Venice this time of year and Sunday’s high tide mark of 150 centimeters (59.06 inches) marked the sixth-highest level since 1872, according to the ANSA news agency.

Moveable barriers that would rise from the sea bed to protect Venice from high tides have been in the works for years but will not be operational before 2014.

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