Arno Flood Alert in Florence

An orange (moderate risk) weather alert has been issued in Florence due to the rising waters of the Arno river. The situation was created by the heavy downpours during the night in addition to unceasing rain in the city during the month of November 2019. The Public Safety Agency (Protezione Civile) has invited residents and visitors to not to travel unless absolutely necessary and to avoid the areas near to the river in view of a possible future Arno flood alert.

Arriving at 4,80 meters (15.7 ft) near the Uffizi Gallery, the water was close to the the second level of alert, which is 5.5 meters (18 ft.), the highest reached in the last 20 years.  Tuscan governor Enrico Rossi noted that “the dams on the Arno have done their job.”

In the past 24 hours 62,6 millimeters (2 and a half inches) of rain have fallen on the city and wind gusts reached 76 kilometers (47 miles) per hour.  Trees have fallen in Poggio Imperiale neighborhood and the Boboli Gardens are closed. The personnel of the Public Safety Agency is checking out the situation regarding the Ema river in Galluzzo and are working to deviate the water away from apartment buildings.  A number of places in the greater metropolitan area have been flooded: Cascine del Riccio, Ugnano and Le Piagge as well as in the Chianti at Barberino Tavarnelle, when 23 homes have been evacuated.

To put the situation in perspective, during the 1966 Florence flood, when the Arno overflowed it banks, the water was measured at a height of 11 meters (36 ft.). Unfortunately, rain in Florence is forecast for six of the next seven days (November 18 – 24).

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.  (rosanna cirigliano)