A city worker helps a woman cross a gangway in Venice, Italy, on Sunday, November 17.
Luca Bruno/AP

In photos: High tide floods Venice

Updated 1:17 PM ET, Sun November 17, 2019

A city worker helps a woman cross a gangway in Venice, Italy, on Sunday, November 17.
Luca Bruno/AP

The Italian city of Venice is seeing its worst flooding in decades, prompting Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to declare a state of emergency.

High tides of 140 centimeters (55 inches) or more are known as "acqua alta" in Italian, and generally take place in winter, according to Venice's municipality website. The exceptionally high tide Venice is experiencing now peaked on Tuesday at 187 centimeters (74 inches), according to a statement Wednesday morning from Venice's government.

It is the worst flooding in Venice since 1966, when the city was hit by tides of up to 194 centimeters (76 inches), according to government statistics.

Some 45% of the city was flooded, Venice's Tide Forecasting and Reporting Center of Civil Protection said Tuesday.