Rain, wind, snow rage through Israel for 5th day

Lake Kinneret's water levels continue to surge, reaching a rare 2.5 meters from its capacity; temperatures to continue dropping.

January 9, 2013 20:55
Snow falls in Jerusalem at Western Wall

Snow falls in Jerusalem's Old City at the Western Wall 390 . (photo credit: Nechama Perton)


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While Lake Kinneret’s water levels continued to surge, violent winds and heavy precipitation battered Israelis all over the country on Wednesday, in the fifth consecutive day of stormy weather.

By Wednesday evening, the rainfall for the duration of the storm thus far had accumulated to between 150 and 250 millimeters in the country's North and Center, with some areas even receiving up to 300 millimeters, said Dr. Amos Porat, director of the Climate Department at Israel Meteorological Services (IMS). The southern parts of the country also received some rainfall, with totals amounting to between 20 and 50 millimeters. Meanwhile, strong winds continued to pound the entire country. and snow continued to fall in the northern and central mountain peaks – including in Jerusalem.

In perhaps one of the most encouraging aspects of the week's pouring rains, Lake Kinneret's water level stood at 211.34 meters below sea level on Wednesday morning, a 16-centimeter rise from the previous morning and just 2.50 meters from being filled to capacity. By evening, the basin had risen another 7 centimeters, reaching 211.27 meters below sea level and bringing the total rise for this storm period up to 60 centimeters, the Water Authority said.

During a briefing on the storm at the Israel Police national traffic control center in Beit Dagan on Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he was pleased to see that everything was under control and that all the country's infrastructural bodies and emergency response teams were working together to abate problems.

"The systems are working well," Netanyahu said. "I have instructed Public Security Ministry Director-General Rotem Peleg to consider compensation for those who have been hurt as a result of the weather."

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