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11 December, 2008

Water Under The Bridge

On Monday, Venice was hit by the fourth-worst flood since 1872. Driven by winds powering up the Adriatic, the water in the lagoon surrounding the city rose 156cm (61in) above normal levels....












While Venetians take floods in their stride, the swirling waters that burst the banks of the city's famed canals have convinced many here of the wisdom of a euro4.3 billion ($5.43 billion) project to build towering metal gates designed to protect Venice from being deluged.

Moses, named after the Old Testament figure who parted the Red Sea, is nearly half finished and is expected to be operational by 2014 — two years behind schedule due to financial problems.

If the retractable gates had been working at the time of the 160 centimeter (60 inch) floods, they would have been raised from their resting place on the seafloor by 6 a.m. — "keeping the entire city dry," according to the consortium administrating Moses.
Project Moses is due for completion between 2012 and 2014. But there is still no single body responsible for the defence of the city, and no plan for its long-term preservation, let alone funding.
"Venice will survive only for as long as man wants it to survive"

*Full length article and pictures can be found at http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gkXJ8cU-TREaMwKhxR-e8dcZ6EJAD94S2H681