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Rome Floods.

The Rome Floods, Saturday 13th December 2008:
After 2 non-stop days of heavy rain, beginning the evening of Wednesday 10th December 2008, Rome was put on alert on Friday night 12th December 2008. The areas at risk of inundation being Flaminio (Piazza del Popolo area), Ponte Milvio and Villaggio Olimpico - all more or less within only 2 kilometers (1,5 miles) of the city center.

The most worrysome situation was at the "Ponte sant' Angelo" bridge in front of Castel Sant' Angelo - not 300m from Vatican City. Due to the flooding many boats in the Tiber river had broken free from their moorings and wedged themselves across the historic bridge, dangerously blocking the flow of water through the supporting arches.

Firefighters were given the go ahead to dismantle some boats, and late Friday night plus all through Saturday rescue teams worked to remove the cruise boats, barges and house boats that were obstructing the water flow.

Meanwhile firefighters on Thursday 11th December had to rescue dozens of stranded motorists. The streets in some northern Rome neighborhoods were flooded and covered in thick brown mud.

The water level of the Tiber as at Saturday morning 13th December was recorded at Ponte Milvio to have reached at least 13,5m and was at least 5m (15 feet) above normal water level.
Considering the Tevere (Tiber) usually runs only between 3 or 4 m deep, varying between Summer and Winter, these levels are quite astounding.

Last big Floods of Rome

rome flooding

Rome has had some catastrophic floods throughout it's history. For this reason along the banks of the Tevere in the Navona and Campo dè Fiori area modern day Rome is a good couple of meters above what the ancient Roman city was.

Luckily this is the case, as a lot of Rome has been "saved", instead of demolishing buildings Romans would rather build up and away from flood levels. As a result a large portion of ancient Rome remains untouched but buried under modern Rome.

Some notorious Rome floods from the past have been:

  • 1878 where levels of the Tiber reached 18,37m
  • 1870 levels reached 17,32m
  • 1846 was 16,25m
  • 1843 reached 15,34m
  • 1805 was 16,42m
  • 1598 has the highest ever recorded Rome flood where water levels reached 19,56m

The main areas which have been historically effected by flooding in Rome have been the Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Via del Corso and the Trevi area.

For more pictures visit my images of the Rome floods. However, if you're now concerned about the weather for your Rome holiday via veneto smiley then view information about the Climate in Rome Italy

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For pictures of the flooding in Rome visit my Rome Floods Pictures page.

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