After a long stretch of spring-like conditions that caused many Israelis to wonder whether winter would ever come, Tuesday night offered new hope as thunderstorms poured copious amounts of water on Israel’s coast.
As of early Wednesday morning, the storm had caused massive disruptions in multiple areas, with first responders helping motorists stranded by flooding. One such incident almost ended in tragedy when a vehicle with four passengers fell into the Jordan River after trying to cross a bridge.
In central Israel, a man almost drowned after he was trapped in a locked car that had gotten stuck in a flooded area. He was rescued by firefighters and then evacuated to receive medical care.
Meanwhile, Israel’s only skiing site, Mount Hermon just north of the Golan Heights, saw at least 30 cm (11 inches) fall overnight Tuesday, raising hopes that Israelis would finally get to enjoy a winter wonderland before spring.
The blustery weather is expected to continue to pick up steam over the weekend and reach its peak on Sunday, with severe flood warnings issued for coastal cities and the Judean foothills, as well as the northern Negev and Arava.
According to a statement released by the Israel Meteorological Service last week, this winter season has been the driest in Israel for some 60 years.
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