Flooded Venice is affected by a new tide of 160 cm (5.3 pounds) that does not interrupt residents from a crisis worth millions of euros.
The world-famous St. Mark's Square, a magnet for tourists, is closed and schools are closed for a third day.
The famous reservoirs of the Italian city ̵
The top of 187 cm on Tuesday was the highest level for more than 50 years, damaging cultural, business and home monuments. More than 80% of the canal city is flooded.
The Government declares a state of emergency at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Residents with flood-affected homes will receive up to € 5,000 (£ 4,300; $ 5,500) and businesses up to € 20,000 in compensation.
Desperate measures as water rushes everywhere
Jenny Hill from the BBC in Venice writes:
The first flood sirens went out at dawn, a sinister sound rose over ancient bridges and city waterways.
Within a few hours, the turbidly green water of the Grand Canal rose with its shore, crashing into the counties as the boats passed by.
Near streets swiftly flooded. Tourists wrapped in plastic bags carried their luggage along raised narrow pedestrian walkways, which authorities put in place to keep pedestrians moving.
On both sides, dirty water continued to increase. At ground level, in their rubber rockets, business owners are already starting to operate small pumps. Many had erected flood barriers through their doors – apparently having little effect. In the souvenir shops and cafes, water was already seeping into the ankle.
"It hurts when the city is so damaged, its artistic heritage is compromised, its commercial activities are on its knees," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who visited Venice on Wednesday, wrote in a Facebook post (in Italian.
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The Fondamenta Prison – a long, beloved coastal area where tourists enjoy walking – is also underwater.
The City Consisting of more than 100 islands in a lagoon off the northeastern coast of Italy, it suffers from flooding on an annual basis.
The government has promised to release € 20 million in aid to Venice. The tide is higher than it reached this week – hitting 194 cm in 1966.
Venice Mayor Luigi Bruniaro blamed the climate on the flood, saying the impact was "huge" and would leave "a permanent imprint" . The strong winds that are plaguing the area are contributing to the crisis.
Mr Conte said that the government would accelerate the construction of structural protections for the city, referring specifically to the so-called Moshe project – a hydraulic barrier system to exclude the lagoon in the event of rising sea levels and winter storms.
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