Two children rescued from roof of car stuck in flooding
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Two children rescued from roof of car stuck in flooding

Roads closed by trees, potholes due to severe winter weather, Sea of Galilee rises three centimeters

  • The beach in Tel Aviv on a stormy winter day in Tel Aviv, January 05, 2018. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
    The beach in Tel Aviv on a stormy winter day in Tel Aviv, January 05, 2018. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
  • People hold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they walk in Jaffa street in Jerusalem, as heavy rain and wind storm hits Israel. January 05, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    People hold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they walk in Jaffa street in Jerusalem, as heavy rain and wind storm hits Israel. January 05, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • People hold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they walk in Jaffa gate near the Tower of David in Jerusalem Old City, as heavy rain and wind storm hits Israel. January 05, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    People hold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they walk in Jaffa gate near the Tower of David in Jerusalem Old City, as heavy rain and wind storm hits Israel. January 05, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • A man rides a bicycle by a tree which has fallen on a car in Jerusalem, due to heavy winds, as a heavy storm hits Israel. January 05, 2018.  (Ynatan Sindel/Flash90)
    A man rides a bicycle by a tree which has fallen on a car in Jerusalem, due to heavy winds, as a heavy storm hits Israel. January 05, 2018. (Ynatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • People hold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they walk in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat on January 5, 2018, as heavy rain and a wind storm hit Israel. ( David Cohen/Flash90)
    People hold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they walk in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat on January 5, 2018, as heavy rain and a wind storm hit Israel. ( David Cohen/Flash90)
  • Waves crash on the seafront of the coastal city of Netanya on January 5, 2018, as the worst storm of the winer hits Israel. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)
    Waves crash on the seafront of the coastal city of Netanya on January 5, 2018, as the worst storm of the winer hits Israel. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Two children, aged six and nine, and a 70-year-old man were rescued from a jeep suffering from hypothermia Friday as Israel’s worst storm of the season struck Friday.

The three were driving in an open area near the northern coastal city of Hadera when the vehicle became stuck in a huge puddle. The two children had climbed on to the roof of the vehicle due to the depth of the water.

The fire brigade was able to rescue them and paramedics from Magen David Adom administered first aid before transporting them to the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in fair condition.

A police car which was towing the vehicle also became stuck in the water, and had to be pulled out by the rescue services.

A number of potholes opened on Route 70 in the section between Yagur and Yokne’am in the north of Israel, due to the storm. This led to drivers stranded at the side of the road with punctures in their tires and police blocked one lane of traffic, Hadashot news reported.

Part of Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv was closed due to a massive pothole, Arutz 7 reported. Route 581 north of Netanya was also blocked in both directions due to a fallen tree.

Elsewhere a tree fell onto a parked vehicle in Ramat Gan, causing light damage to the car. Nobody was injured.

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

Between 30 and 50 millimeters of rainfall fell overnight between Thursday and Friday in the Galilee, causing the Sea of Galilee to rise three centimeters. The water level of the Jordan River rose by 35 centimeters.

Rainfall reached 47 millimeters in the central Golan Heights, while 55 millimeters fell at Haifa University, on the western edge of the Galilee.

At least 10 centimeters of snow fell on the lower ridge of Mount Hermon, Israel’s highest mountain, causing the ski resort at the site to announce it would be closed Friday.

Hail fell in the coastal city of Netanya.

The storm is expected to reach its peak in the afternoon, with eight-meter waves expected on the beaches of Tel Aviv.

The IDF warned any hikers planning to brave the stormy weather in the country’s north and on 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 minefields, which are surrounded by barbed wire and marked with yellow and red warning signs.

File: Tourists look out over Jerusalem’s Old City, as seen from the rooftop of the Austrian hospice, on a foggy winter day, January 2, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Police warned they expect that many roads will become blocked, based on previous experience. The force warned drivers to avoid flooded roads, to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and to reduce speed. Drivers were advised to check their vehicles to make sure the tires are filled with air, that wipers work correctly, and that headlight lenses are clear.

The Jerusalem municipality issued a statement instructing residents to secure loose objects that might be blown off roofs and to check that home heating systems were operating correctly and properly ventilated. The municipality also published a Hebrew-language instruction video, based on the “Winter is coming” theme from the hit television show “Game of Thrones.”

הכל לבן בחוץ! ערפל ממש סמיך אופף את ירושלים ממש עכשיו, וזו הזדמנות להזכיר לכם להגביר עירנות ולנקוט משנה זהירות בנסיעה בכבישים וגם בהליכה ברחובות. חוץ מללבוש משהו חם, הנה עוד כמה טיפים והנחיות חשובות לחורף הירושלמי שלנו ☂️

Posted by ‎Jerusalem Municipality | עיריית ירושלים‎ on Tuesday, 2 January 2018

In Tiberias, the annual marathon, which was scheduled for Friday, was delayed until Sunday, Hadashot news reported. The Israeli Nature and Parks Authority also planned to close some hiking routes.

Magen David Adom, Israel’s largest ambulance service, said in a statement it had prepared the four-wheel drive ambulances and jeeps it has in its fleet.

Meteorologists say the storm will begin to weaken by Friday evening, moving quickly eastward into Jordan and Iraq.

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