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Death Toll in Italy's Historic Flooding Climbs to 29


By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

Severe flooding in Sicily on Sunday left 12 people dead. That brought the nationwide death toll after a week of extreme weather to 29.

Among the dead were two German tourists, according to VOA News. At least one other person is missing.

Nine People Drowned Near Palermo

Nine members of two families were among those killed near Palermo, CNN reported. They were dining together in a vacation home that flooded when the swollen Milicia River suddenly overflowed, fire brigade officials said.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expressed his condolences to the families of the victims when he arrived in the affected area on Sunday.

Italy's civil protection agency said it was still looking for a missing doctor who had been on his way to work at a local hospital Saturday night, CNN added.

Survivor of Palermo Flood Describes His Wait for Rescue

One of the survivors, Giuseppe Giordano, told how he lost his teenage son, Federico, and one-year-old daughter, Rachele, when the floodwaters overran the vacation home. He said Federico was trying to hold his sister above the deluge.

"I saw the windows had darkened. I took the car keys to try to leave and the window exploded, and then the wall unit fell and then I didn't see anything else...maybe the light went out," Giordano said.

He found himself swallowing water, but managed to get out to a tree and held on. Gioradano said he yelled for help for more than two hours before being rescued.

Divers later recovered all nine bodies.

Cost of Italy’s Flood Damage Likely to Exceed One Billion Euros

“High winds and heavy rain have devastated parts of the country over the past week, causing landslides that have cut off villages and forced roads to close, CNN reported. Damages are estimated at more than 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion), authorities said.

Venice Suffers Flooding

Last Monday, torrential rains overwhelmed Venice’s historic St. Mark’s Square and Basilica in the worst flooding in Venice in at least a decade.

Floodwaters reached 61 inches above average sea level. As much as three-quarters of Venice was under water.

David Hubler David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield published the paperback edition of David’s latest book, "The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation's Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever."