The system of 78 mobile dams was activated at 8:35 on Saturday, and the operation was completed in 1 hour 17 min. The water level was contained at 70 – 75 cm at Punta Salute compared to 120 in open sea. Piazza San Marco and the Basilica remained dry as the city celebrated an “historic day”
October 3, 2020
VENEZIA. On its first true field test MoSE worked: in the open sea the tied reached 129 cm, and at Punta della Dogana the tide stopped at 73cm, while the city of Venice stayed dry.
The operations to raise the 78 dams began in the night, and at 9:40 Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted “Raising all the dams is now complete”, adding at 10:10 “At #Venezia #MoSE has been raised. It is 10:10 and at the moment we can see the clear difference in levels between sea and lagoon. The situation is stable. Now we wait and trust”.
Proving it works, Piazza San Marco “incredibly” remained dry: it is the lowest part of the city and goes underwater when the tide reaches 80 cm.
This special opening of MoSE while it is still under construction and not yet completed – decided by the special commissioner Spitz and the Superintendent of Public Works Zincone – allowed the interception of all the high water predicted for Saturday, leaving the city dry for the moment. However, according to the plans, the barriers will be activated when tides of about 120 cm are predicted. Saturday was a stress test and, for now, it worked.
Videos of the operation can be found on the La Nuova Venezia web site here: https://nuovavenezia.gelocal.it/regione/2020/10/03/news/acqua-alta-a-venezia-per-la-prima-volta-sollevato-il-mose-1.39378848
Source: La Nuova Venezia