Israel: Biggest Storm in Years Brings Snow, Havoc, Floodings and some Creative Solutions
The most treacherous storm in a decade paralyzed much of the country on Tuesday, climaxing with the shutdown of Israel’s main highway in both directions for nine hours due to flooding.
Power outages were reported, the entrance to Tel Aviv was all but blocked and residents of some city neighborhoods braced for possible evacuation.
On Tuesday, the Ayalon Highway - the main traffic artery in Tel Aviv - reopened only at about 4 P.M. after closing before the morning rush hour. It was the first time in 20 years that the Ayalon has been closed for such a long time..
Two people are being reported as having drowned due to floods in the West Bank. Last night also saw the Israeli Navy called in to evacuate residents in the cities of Hedera and Beit Hefer due to severe flooding.
In the past few hours, heavy snow has been falling in the city of Jerusalem, after previously falling in the northern regions of the country.
The storm by now is considered to be the most intense since the one that hit in the winter of 1992-1993. Such events are something of a rare thing in a region that is generally characterized by dry weather and “weak” rain periods.
Naturally, what also made headlines was how some folks got around the problems. In the city of Netanya, a few residents got around the problem of flooded streets by using kayaks to paddle around the streets, and in Tel Aviv, with most the Ayalon Highway closed, a trio of (potentially insane) Israelis crossed a part of it on water ski tubes..