Accidents, damage as Israel pelted with heavy rains
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Accidents, damage as Israel pelted with heavy rains

With flooding in city streets and desert riverbeds alike, Israelis finally feel the arrival of winter

Israelis hold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they walk on Jaffa Street, downtown Jerusalem, October 31, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israelis hold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they walk on Jaffa Street, downtown Jerusalem, October 31, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

It’s the last day of October, and winter has finally come to Israel.

Rain and flooding are being reported throughout the country.

Ramat Hasharon, a northern suburb of Tel Aviv, was the most drenched of Israel’s cities, with 40 millimeters (1.6 inches) of rainfall since Thursday night. Much of the coastal plane and center of the country saw between 15 and 25 millimeters (0.6-1 inches).

The most significant rainfall occurred overnight, when dramatic thunderstorms could be seen throughout central and northern Israel, and after 11 a.m. Friday.

And with the rain came the traffic accidents.

One person was moderately wounded and three others lightly wounded when a bus headed north from Jerusalem toward Givat Ze’ev slid on the wet road and slammed into a nearby building, with its front wheels in the air.

The moderately wounded passenger sustained blows to the head and was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in southern Jerusalem, while the others were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the western part of the city.

Firefighters extracted the unharmed driver and two more passengers from the bus.

Meanwhile, flooding is being reported in multiple locations around the country.

In Ganey Tikva, the flooding of Galil Road left cars underwater.

In Tel Aviv, the southbound right lane of the central Namir Road was closed when sections of the lane filled with water and sank into the ground, according to Tel Aviv’s water company Mey Avivim.

The closure is near the Yarkon bridge in the city’s north, the company says. Repairs are underway.

Heavy rainfall in the Jerusalem area and northern Negev also prompted concern over possible flash floods in the desert riverbeds of the Negev and Jordan Valley, which be dangerous for hikers or motorists on nearby roads.

The Jordan Valley Regional Council and Sea of Galilee Cities Union announced Friday that the popular annual bicycle ride around the Sea of Galilee, scheduled for this Saturday, was postponed by two weeks, to November 15.

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