Stormy weather batters Israel, causes traffic jams and car accidents

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Flooding in Haifa (photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)

Following a week of relative calm and increased temperatures, the winter weather has returned in force, causing difficult commutes and car accidents throughout the country.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF, EYTAN HALON   JANUARY 19, 2020 15:17

Following a week of relative calm and increased temperatures, the winter weather has returned in force, causing difficult commutes and car accidents throughout the country. Temperatures are expected to dip, and rainy forecasts are expected all around the country, along with heavy winds and snow on the Hermon and communities in the North.The strong winds are expected to intensify at various points across the country.

Temperatures today are expected to be 15-11 degrees in Tiberias, 13-9 degrees in Haifa, 14-11 degrees in Tel Aviv, 9-7 degrees in Jerusalem, 14-8 degrees in Beersheba and 20-12 degrees in Eilat.Due to the stormy weather, several roads have been blocked across the country due to flooding, including in Bnei Brak, along Lehi Street, which was closed to traffic in both directions. Israeli police are on the scene directing traffic in the area.

The stormy weather comes amid some criticism directed towards to the Tel Aviv municipal government on the quality of its infrastructure and its ability to absorb to downpours, following the death of two citizens who drowned in a stalled elevator while trying to escape flooding in a parking garage.

The meteorological service also warned of flooding in the Judean Desert. During the night, it is expected to continue to rain in the northern and central parts of the country, which will be accompanied by a thunderstorm and snow in Hermon.On Monday, the weather will continue to be rainy, and the rain will continue to fall in the North all the way to the Negev. Flood warnings have also been issued for areas prone to its occurrence, including the Jordan Valley, the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea.

In some good news, the Water Authority reported that due to 20 mm. of rainfall during the night, the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) was marked at 210.715 m. this morning, an increase of 6.5 cm. from Thursday. An additional 1.915 m. will be needed for it to reach full capacity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought cabinet approval on Sunday to allocate NIS 30 million to the city of Nahariya, which suffered significant flood damage earlier this month.”It is very important to rehabilitate the city,” said Netanyahu. “The problem is not just providing first aid, but tackling the root of the flood problem.”Netanyahu said he had tasked Prime Minister’s Office acting director-general Ronen Peretz with preparing a government plan, including budgets for immediate rehabilitation of the city, funding urgent activities, removing hazards and upgrading infrastructures that suffered flood damage.

The cabinet, Netanyahu said, will advance the construction of reservoirs to prevent recurrence of the flooding.”The plan will not only assist Nahariya in the short-term, immediately, but will also enable the city to strengthen and grow with being delayed by these problems again and again,” Netanyahu said.

Maariv Online contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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