Eilat Airport Closes Due to Flooding

Flights in and out of Eilat were rerouted to Ovda Airport in the Negev after runways flooded; section of Highway 90 briefly closed.o excessive rain.

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Eilat airport was shut down Wednesday morning after stormy weather flooded its takeoff and landing strips.

Incoming air traffic from the country’s center was rerouted to the nearby airport at Ovda in the Negev Desert.

Thirty flights had been scheduled for Wednesday – 15 incoming and 15 outgoing. Because of the airport closure, the Israel Airports Authority decided to open the Ovda Airport to handle the flights. The Eilat airport reopened on Wednesday afternoon.

Temperatures all over Israel dropped steeply on Wednesday, and rain fell over most of the country.

In the morning, a section of Highway 90, which runs the length of the Jordan Valley, was closed to traffic because of flooding of the Ye’elim Stream. It was reopened after about an hour.

The Israel Meteorological Service warned of possible flooding in the country’s eastern and southern streams.

Later Wednesday, hazy conditions are expected to develop and southern Israel will experience sandstorms.

This winter Eilat is receiving unusually large amounts of precipitation. The airport flooded and was closed to traffic in November as well. That closure, lasting overnight, caused many flight delays and a few flight cancellations. During that storm, several city streets were closed due to flooding, including the entrance to the hotel district. 

Flooded runways at Eilat Airport.Credit: Nir Keidar
Eilat Airport shut down due to flooding.Credit: Nir Keidar

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