Heavy rain and snow greet Israelis

Rains are expected to largely clear on Thursday and Friday.

December 14, 2016 20:27
1 minute read.
Israel police

Israel police, Route 60 towards the Dead Sea flooded on Wednesday. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

A strong downpour of rain and snow drenched Israelis yesterday, especially in the North, and flooded roads on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

According to the Water Authority, about 100 millimeters of rain fell in the North, and Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) rose 5 cm. since Tuesday morning. The water level has risen 12 cm. over the past two weeks and stands at 213.71 meters. It is still 4.91 meters below being full.

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The Water Authority said high flow rates of northern rivers contributed to the Galilee’s rise.

“Unlike the previous storm that hit us after two completely dry months, the rain was met with highly saturated soil, and thus the streams had high flow rates that contributed help for the water sector,” the authority said in a statement.

Snow continued to fall on Mount Hermon on Wednesday, while winds gusted at 80 mph leading to the closure of the access road to the mountain’s ski slope. The temperature dropped to 1.5 Celsius on the mountain.

A driver in his mid-40s died and his passenger, in her mid- 20s, is in critical condition after their car was involved in an accident on Route 7912 east of Haifa. Route 90 toward the Dead Sea and the Route 234 bridge were closed due to flooding.

“It is a normal winter system with a surface depression moving from Cyprus to Syria,” said Dr. Amos Porat, head of the Climate Department at the Israel Meteorological Service.

“As a result, northern Israel is receiving the largest amounts of rainfall.”

Rains are expected to taper off on Thursday and Friday.

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