Hermon ski resort reopens as weekend storm calms

Hermon ski resort reopens as weekend storm calms

Route 90 running along Dead Sea and Route 234 near Tze’elim remain closed to traffic due to floodings

People enjoy the snow at Mount Hermon ski resort, in northern Israel, on December 25, 2017. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
People enjoy the snow at Mount Hermon ski resort, in northern Israel, on December 25, 2017. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

The Mount Hermon ski resort in the Golan Heights reopened to guests Saturday after shutting down the previous day due to Israel’s worst storm of the winter.

The resort saw some 8 inches of snowfall Friday, and staff worked to clear the surrounding roads in the early hours of the morning to enable guests to return to the site.

Route 90 running along the Dead Sea and Route 234 near Tze’elim in the south were both closed due to flooding caused by desert streams.

Israel was pounded Friday, with over 100 millimeters of rain falling in parts of the north, in addition to lightning strikes throughout the day and flash floods in the southern desert regions.

Waves break behind a surfer in the coastal city of Herzliya on January 5, 2018. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

Saturday morning saw rainfall primarily in the center and south of the country. Temperatures remained relatively low for the season amid continued fears of flooding throughout the country.

On Friday, the northern city of Safed experienced the heaviest rainfall, with 110 millimeters. As a result of the rain in the north, the Sea of Galilee rose by three centimeters.

Elsewhere in the country, Jerusalem saw 40 millimeters of rainfall and Tel Aviv received 38mm. The storm also included lightning strikes, with the Israel Electric Corporation recording 2,500 over the past day, according to Hadashot news — 300 more than the entire monthly average.

Lightning is seen above the coastal city of Netanya on January 4, 2018, as the worst storm of the winter hits Israel. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Rescue services said they had stocked up on and deployed all necessary equipment, including extra water pumps, rubber boats, life rafts and electric generators. All fire stations were on double duty, and the special Lehava rescue unit of the national Fire and Rescue Service was placed on high alert.

The IDF warned any hikers planning to brave the stormy weather in the north and in the Golan Heights to stay on marked trails and steer clear of minefields. Heavy rains can sometimes cause floods and mudslides that carry landmines outside the fenced-in and marked minefields.

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