Italy – More Severe Weather as Rivers Overflow in Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany

More severe weather is affecting parts of northern Italy, with snowfall and avalanches in mountainous areas and flooding rivers in Emilia-Romagna Region and neighbouring Tuscany. Italy’s fire service Vigili del Fuoco said it had carried out 8,000 interventions during the past week due to bad weather, including 500 in 36 hours to 18 November in Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.

The flooding Idice river in Bologna Province, Italy, November 2019. Photo: Comune di Budrio, Vigili del Fuoco

Emilia Romagna Region

In Emilia Romagna region the Idice River broke its banks in the municipality of Budrio, Bologna Province, on 17 November. Around 300 people were evacuated. Local media reported that over 100 livestock in the area have drowned. Civil protection is working to repair a dyke on the river that broke on 18 November. Several roads have been closed in the area.

The Idice River at Castenaso peaked at about 11.5 metres on 17 November. Major flood stage here is 11 metres. Levels have since fallen to below 7 metres.

In San Martino in Argine the Idice peaked just under major flood stage (13.3 metres) on 17 November, reaching around 13.2 metres.

The flooding Idice river in Budrio, Italy, November 2019. Photo: Budrio Commune
Levels of the Idice River at San Martino
Levels of the Idice River at Castenaso

Tuscany Region

Severe weather, including strong winds, heavy rain and flooding affected areas in neighbouring Tuscany region from 16 November, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency. A tornado was reported in Grosseto Province.

Thirteen people were rescued by helicopter after becoming stranded in floods in the municipality of San Gimignano, Siena Province.

The rising Arno river caused flood concerns in the tourist cities of Pisa and Florence. Bridges and roads were closed in advance. Some flooding from the Arno was reported in Pontassieve, prompting some evacuations.

Around 500 people were put under evacuation orders in Cecina in Livorno province, due to the threat of flooding from the Cecina river.

Venice and the North

Meanwhile Venice is still experiencing serious problems after three of the highest tides on record caused major flooding the historic city in the past week.

Other parts of the country have also seen severe weather including heavy snowfall and avalanches in the South Tyrol Region, which left areas inaccessible.

Italy’s northern neighbour Austria has also seen similar severe weather. Floods and landslides over the last few days have left at least 1 person dead, 2 injured and dozens evacuated.

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