IEC issues instructions as torrential rain continues

Heavy rain causes Sharon

By EHUD ZION WALDOKS, JPOST.COM STAFF
October 30, 2009 10:23
2 minute read.

 
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Torrential rain fell in throughout the country on Sunday, causing damage and flooding roads. An underground parking lot at Haifa's Lev Hamifratz shopping center was flooded, and two mall employees were evacuated by firefighters after being trapped inside. Elsewhere in Haifa, a truck was towed from a flooded underpass as water levels rose to two meters. Also on Sunday, the Israel Electric Company issued a statement warning the public to prepare for stormy weather from Sunday night onwards. The public was requested to remove objects which could potentially crash into wires, such as shutters, antennas, clotheslines, potted plants, planters and more. Over the weekend, the water level of Lake Kinneret rose by four centimeters. Heavy rain wreaked havoc in the Sharon and Dan regions on Friday and Saturday, causing flooding and power outages in several locations. The rainy weather also caused the organizers to postpone Saturday night's memorial rally at Rabin Square commemorating the 14th anniversary of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination until next week. The Labor Party's annual memorial ceremony for Rabin, which was to be held on Friday afternoon, was also postponed for a week. Meanwhile, Lake Kinneret rose four centimeters over the last two days and could go up another three centimeters by Tuesday, the Water Authority said on Saturday. However, the Kinneret was still 5.53 meters below the upper red line, meaning it would need 140 similar rainfalls to fill it, according to the authority. Therefore, it continued to urge the public to conserve as much water as possible. In Kfar Saba, a driver was lightly injured when a gas station roof collapsed, hitting several cars. She was treated at the scene. In Netanya, firefighters evacuated several residents from damaged homes and cars in the flood-stricken streets. And in Petah Tikva, firefighters had to rescue children from a flooded kindergarten on Shazar Street. In Herzliya Pituah, the basement of a medical facility and the bottom floor of a house were flooded. Shoppers were also evacuated from the Park Ra'anana shopping mall, after a large gas canister behind the mall fell and leaked. Nearby roads were closed. In Ramat Hasharon, there were extensive power outages after a transformer was damaged, while a car on the city's Ussishkin Street was hit by a falling tree. No one was injured. Ramat Hasharon Mayor Itzik Rochberger said that in recent years, some NIS 250 million had been invested in new infrastructure to prevent flooding, but the huge amount of rain that fell on Friday had destroyed it, Israel Radio reported. There were also power outages in Petah Tikva, Hod Hasharon and Ra'anana, and Israel Electric Corporation workers were having difficulty reaching the areas to fix the problems due to severe traffic congestion, while roads were flooded in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan. Roads were also flooded in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, where Jabotinsky Street was closed to traffic. Meanwhile, the drought levy allotments will be increased until the end of the year. Instead of 16 cubic meters per month for a four-person household, the levy will start at 18 cubic meters of water per month for November and December. In addition, instead of 4.2 cubic meters per additional person in the household, the allotment will be five cubic meters. Water prices in general are expected to be restructured and raised starting on January 1, with the drought levy changing accordingly. The water level of Lake Kinneret is expected to continue to rise throughout this week as heavy rainfall hits the Galilee and the Golan Heights.

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