City workers fight the floodwaters

City workers fight the f

November 3, 2009 22:30
2 minute read.
rain israel

rain israel. (photo credit: )

Municipal workers across the country are putting in overtime to fight the flooding caused by the heavy rainstorms of the past few days. Kobby Barda, spokesman for the city of Netanya, said in an interview on Tuesday that the municipality has been putting as many crews out on the roads as it can to drain and pump the water and stop the floods from occurring. "Currently on the ground we have 12 water tracks that are pumping water and we have received a lot of compliments actually from our crews on how well it is working," Barda said. "On Friday within an hour and a half we had 170 mm. of water, which is 540 percent over the average rain water that we have in October. Of course all of this rain causes a problem." Sand, leaves and parts of trees were blocking waterways, causing flooding and rendering some streets impassable, he said. "We have as many crews on the ground as we can and they are on alert 24/7. We are trying to do the best we can." A rainfall like this has its positives and negatives, Barda said. "Rain like this is great because we currently have a water shortage in Israel, but on the other hand, there are people whose basements are flooded and that's not good," he said. While some blame flooding in towns such as Netanya, Acre and Ra'anana on aging sewers and poor maintenance, Barda's answer to the problems that occur every few years was a simple one: Wherever the heavy clouds decide to rain on a given day, there can be a flood. "If this were somewhere like London where it just rains all day and there is water flowing at all times, then it's easier than just the flash of heavy rain that we have here," he said. "If the big cloud decides to stay over Netanya, where we built a sewer system that is ready for heavy storms for one in every 20 to 30 years, or in places like Acre where they don't have a drainage system, it's different. Our country is closer to the desert." The rains over the last few days have caused floods in Central and Sharon region cities. The tunnel from Highway 4 to Kfar Saba was flooded, the Traffic Police reported. The new Haifa-Tel Aviv Highway also saw heavy traffic jams near the Poleg junction outside Netanya due to flooding. The Rishon Lezion Municipality was forced to close the city's Yudilevich Street after it was flooded and a parked car sank into one of the gaps that opened in the street. Infrastructure work is currently being performed on Yudilevich Street, which has made it more vulnerable to the stormy weather. On the plus side, Lake Kinneret has noted a 4-centimeter rise in its water level in the last week, to 214.33 meters below sea level. The Hydrological Service said the weekend's rise in water levels was the result of direct rainfall over the Sea of Galilee, rather than increased volumes in the streams flowing into it. This coming week, added the service, is expected to see water levels rise further, to about 214.30 meters below sea level.

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