VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – A long-delayed flood barrier system successfully protected Venice from a high tide for the first time on Saturday, bringing big relief to the lagoon city after years of repeated inundations.
“Today, everything is dry,” mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter. “Pride and joy.”
The network of 78 bright yellow barriers that guard the entrance to the delicate Venetian lagoon lifted from the sea bed as the tide, driven by strong winds and rain, started to climb.
City officials had forecast a tide of 130 cm (4.27 ft), well below the devastating the 187 cm tide that battered Venice last November, but enough to leave low-lying areas deep under water.
However, when the expected peak came shortly after midday, the famed St. Marks Square, one of the first places in Venice to flood, remained largely dry.
The multi-billion-euro flood defence system, known as Mose, was due to