Dozens trapped in cars as unseasonal torrents lash Jerusalem
Over 1.5 inches fall on capital in hours, submerging homes and roadways; Route 90 reopens after flooding
Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.
Emergency services rescued dozens of stranded Jerusalemites from flooded cars Thursday morning as unseasonable April rains soaked the capital.
The spring storm began at approximately 3 a.m., and in a span of a few hours over an inch and a half of precipitation fell, well over the average 0.9 inches Jerusalem receives in the entire month of April.
Police closed a 10-mile stretch of Route 90, which runs along the shores of the Dead Sea, from Ein Gedi to Metzoke Dragot because of flash floods, but reopened it several hours later.
The unusual rain flooded roads and houses in Jerusalem, even causing hypothermia in some of those trapped, rescue workers said. Parts of the capital city were even pelted with hail.
Sergeant Nir Abramovitch, a commander of a rescue unit, told Ynet news that “In many cases the people stood on the roofs of their cars, freezing from the cold; they were wet and scared.”
Magen David Adom also responded to a car accident caused by the wet weather conditions in Jerusalem’s East Talpiot neighborhood.
Showers were expected to continue throughout the day across the country, will higher altitudes inland receiving the brunt of the rain, according to the Israel Meteorological Service.
The skies should clear up Friday morning, but parts of the country — mostly the Jordan valley and Galilee — will again see showers in the afternoon.
The rest of the weekend should be sunny and warm, a return to the normal spring weather Israel is accustomed to.