First rains wreak havoc on national electricity grid
Heavy rainfall in the Sharon area on Friday, with thunderstorms and high winds, damaged power lines, particularly in Kfar Sava, Ra'anana and Herzliya.
The first rains of the season affected some of the national electricity grid over the weekend, causing local power cuts lasting 10 minutes to two hours in the north, center and Jerusalem. Heavy rainfall in the Sharon area on Friday, with thunderstorms and high winds, damaged power lines, particularly in Kfar Sava, Ra'anana and Herzliya. Most of the damage was from falling trees and branches, while one power line was put out of commission by a direct lightning hit.
The power cuts interrupted traffic lights in the afflicted cities, and reports were received of stuck elevators and long blackouts in private homes. The Israel Electric Corporation said it reinforced and deployed all of its repair teams, but the repairs themselves took hours, and some 150 households in Kfar Sava and Bazra were left without power until yesterday morning.
The energy company apologized for the delay, and thanked residents for their cooperation, before noting it had begun preparing for the rains as early as three weeks ago. The IEC said it could not protect the infrastructure in all locations, noting it is not allowed to cut trees in private yards that have grown close to power lines.
The longest rainfall of the weekend occurred over Ramat Naftali in the Upper Galilee, where 34 millimeters were recorded, more than the average for the entire month of October. There were hailstorms in some areas and winds reached 60 kilometers an hour. Ra'anana experienced particularly heavy rain, with 23 millimeters pouring down in just 20 minutes.
Temperatures are expected to remain at about average for the season over the next three days, before rising toward the weekend by 6 to 8 degrees, due to warm easterly winds. Meteorologists said there is a chance of sharav (heat wave ) conditions over next weekend.