Front-loader rescues and raging rapids: Videos of rain havoc flood internet
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Front-loader rescues and raging rapids: Videos of rain havoc flood internet

Residents of Haifa and Nahariya hit the hardest by storm, with streets turning to rivers and many requiring help from tractors; Golan streams threaten to overflow

A military truck evacuates Israeli citizens through a flooded road in the northern city of Nahariya on a stormy winter day, January 8, 2020. (Meir Vaknin/Flash90)
A military truck evacuates Israeli citizens through a flooded road in the northern city of Nahariya on a stormy winter day, January 8, 2020. (Meir Vaknin/Flash90)

Social media was flooded Wednesday with photos and videos of Israeli streets, homes and rivers overflowing with water after torrential rains poured down, overwhelming drainage infrastructure in many cities.

The storm saw some places pounded with up to 80 millimeters (3.15 inches) of rain within several hours, as many streams and rivers saw their strongest currents in years.

The rainfall caused extensive flooding in Nahariya, a coastal city of some 50,000 near the Lebanon border.

A 38-year-old man was killed Wednesday — the seventh fatality of the season — in the northern city after he was carried away by floodwaters as he tried to rescue the passengers of a car that overturned in a pool of water, police said.

Tractors and military vehicles were used to help transport residents across the water-filled streets as people became trapped by rising waters.

Earlier, emergency services rescued 15 children from a flooded kindergarten in the city. Dozens of dogs were rescued from an animal shelter in the city that was flooded, the Ynet news site reported.

Torrential rain poured on the northern port city of Haifa, with some 50 millimeters (two inches) falling during the morning hours, causing flooding that blocked many streets in the city and surrounding areas.

Some drivers and passengers required rescue after their vehicles became trapped on flooded roads. Flooding on railway tracks led Israel Railways to cancel all service north of Haifa Center Hashmona station.

Pupils at a local school were taken to the top floors after the ground floor was flooded.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority closed some river hiking trails in the north due to the heavy rain and the expectation that some streams would overflow their banks.

Some residents resorted to desperate measures — with questionable effectiveness — to try and get rid of the water.

And of course, it wouldn’t be social media without some jokes.

The stormy weather system is expected to last until Friday and also slam Tel Aviv, where two people died on Saturday when they became trapped in a flooded elevator.

Forecasters expect the high winds to calm on Friday and the rain to taper off on Saturday.

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