VIDEO: State of emergency declared in Venice as floodwaters approach record levels


Although the Italian city of Venice is often referred to as "the floating city," a more literal interpretation of that came to fruition this week, Accuweather reports.

The highest tide levels in decades have inundated much of the city, prompting officials to issue a state of disaster declaration and causing many pedestrians to walk around in knee-high water.

Water levels rose to 187 cm (74 inches) at high tide on Tuesday, the second highest tide ever recorded and the highest tide in 50 years, according to the Associated Press.

Water at this level left an astounding 85 percent of the city underwater. The highest level ever recorded was 194 cm (76 inches) from the notable flood of 1966.

The flooding is being blamed for at least two deaths. One of the victims reportedly died of electrocution on the barrier island of Pellestrina, according to the AP. (Accuweather) .