Venice will activate its Mose flood barrier system today for the first time, as bad weather and particularly high tides are set to hit the canal city. This will be the first real test of the mobile gates, whose construction has been wildly over budget, years late, and riddled with corruption.
Venice, in the northern Italian region of the Veneto, is braced for storms over the weekend and is expected to see a high tide, or “acqua alta” today at noon. Mose Commissioner Elisabetta Spitz confirmed the barriers would be activated on Saturday if levels reach those predicted, the Ansa news agency reports. The tide is expected to reach 135 cm at midday today, which would trigger the emergency procedure for activating the flood defense system.