The exceptionally intense “acqua alta,” or high waters, peaked at 1.87 metres (six feet) as the flood alarm sounded across the Italian city of canals, the tide monitoring centre said.
“We’re currently facing an exceptionally high tide. Everyone has been mobilised to cope with the emergency,” Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, tweeted.
Only once since records began in 1923 has the water crept higher, reaching 1.94 metres in 1966.
As emergency services surveyed the damage, Italian media reported that a 78-year-old local had been killed by electric shock as the waters poured into his home.