Rome Declares State of Emergency as Torrential Rains Flood City

16:13, 12 December 2008
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Unions canceled...

The city of Rome declared a state of emergency today after heavy rain caused floods which killed one person and left some neighborhoods under water, according to Bloomberg.

Unions canceled a planned transport strike and city authorities set up a crisis center as heavy rain continued to raise the level of the Tiber river, according to information posted on the city’s Web site.

One woman died this morning after being trapped in a car in a flooded underpass in the nearby town of Monterotondo. The area around the Tiburtina train station was completely flooded last night and the Tiber has risen close to its limits around Ponte Milvio in the northern part of the city.

Over 10 days of bad weather have strained Rome’s drainage system and municipal workers have had to remove debris from 4,500 drainage holes around the city.

Other areas of the country have also been affected by severe weather, with Venice, whose central St. Mark’s Square was flooded last week, continuing to battle high waters. Ferries between the island of Sicily and the mainland have been operating intermittently due to storms.

The Tiber, normally small, muddy, and unassuming, has periodically breached its limits since ancient Roman times, with flood marks etched high into the stone of many homes in the center marking the river’s highest levels.

The Tiber is at risk of overflowing at some points around 2 p.m. today, according to daily Corriere della Sera.

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