Rain brings trains, cars to a halt

Stormy weather floods tracks; rescue crews remove vehicles from deep puddles

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

An Israeli train station in winter (illustrative photo credit: david55king/Flickr)
An Israeli train station in winter (illustrative photo credit: david55king/Flickr)

Flooded tracks brought train traffic between Tel Aviv and Haifa to a halt for a few hours on Sunday, as stuck automobiles caused traffic jams in many places across the country.

The weekend’s heavy rainfall caused flooding on the tracks near Netanya, forcing Israel Railways to stop trains from using the major northbound route.

The rail authority worked hard to pump the water out, enabling trains to return to work. Some delays were still expected, the rail company said, adding the station in Herzeliya was still closed.

Large puddles and overflowing drainage systems caused major traffic jams throughout the country. Vehicles stuck in Netanya, Herzeliya and Bat Yam forced the closure of some streets, and rescue crews towed the cars to dry land.

Some people had to be rescued from their cars as they were stranded in meter-deep waters.

The Israel Meteorological Service on Sunday forecast that, over the coming five days, the weather system would cause precipitation equal to the average rainfall for the entire month of January.

Weatherman Uri Batz said the storm was unusually intense — even for the height of winter.

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