Downpours battered Israel from the North to the South on Wednesday as part of what the Israel Meteorological Service said is the wettest start to the rainy season in the central region in 20 years.
Some of the heaviest precipitation was in Petah Tikva, where more than 110 mm. of rain was recorded. Similar accumulations were recorded in the Negev, flooding dry creek beds and causing serious congestion on the roads. The North saw significantly less rainfall, between 20 mm. and 50 mm. across the region, the IMS said.
The amount of rainfall this season is far higher than average for this time of year, the IMS said, adding that over the past 75 years there have been only three years that saw more by the end of November.
Flooded gym in Nez Ziona, November 26, 2014
By the morning, the overnight rains had raised Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) by 3.5 cm.
There was damage, including felled trees and flooded homes and streets, in towns across the country. In Herzliya, the wall of a supermarket parking lot collapsed and caused severe damage to a few cars, while in Tel Aviv a wall at a construction site was felled by the storm, damaging cars on the street. Faults on high-voltage transmission lines caused power outages in Herzliya, Kadima-Tzoran, Tel Mond, Ein Sarid and Porat.
Floods in Jerusalem
Three men were driving in the Nahal Sorek Nature Reserve in the Judean Hills, when their path was flooded and their car was swept away. They called police, and a team of firefighters and Border Police officers rescued them unharmed.
The storm caused heavy gridlock during the morning rush hour, but by midday the Traffic Police said that all intercity highways were operating normally.
The skies are expected to clear up by Saturday.