Israel's Red Sea Resort Shut Down After Extreme Flooding

Eilat airport shuttered because of runway flooding; kindergartens send children back home while nearby nature reserve closes to take care of wild animals unaccustomed to the weather.

Eilat airport flooded early in the morning on October 28, 2016.

The Eilat Airport in southern Israel was shuttered on Friday morning following runway flooding, and the Arkia airline has postponed flights to and from the city until noon. The airport opened for traffic shortly after 11:30 A.M.

The nearby Ovda Airport was opened for incoming flights while the Eilat one was closed off, the Israel Airports Authority said.

A shopping mall in Eilat made inaccessible by high water levels, October 28, 2016.
Fire and rescue services

An unusual amount of rain fell in the Eilat area overnight. The meteorological service reported that 32 millimeters of rain fell in the city until 7 A.M., approximately 140 percent of the average annual amount, adding that it is likely to rise further.

The strong rains caused flooding and disruptions to traffic. Police said that many roads in the city were blocked as a result of the flooding, sand drifts and road collapses. Twenty kindergartens in the city were flooded, leading children to be sent home or reassigned to neighboring institutions.  

Flooded roads in the southern city of Eilat on Friday, October 28, 2016.
Fire and rescue services

In nearby Kibbutz Yotvata, closure was also registered at the Hai-Bar nature reserve, where the team is attending to the wild animals, which aren’t accustomed to such rainy weather.

Rain is set to continue falling across the country until noon. The weather will be partly cloudy and hazy, and temperatures will drop. No rain is expected on Saturday, and the weather is set to be clear to partly cloudy, with no significant change in temperature. A light drizzle may fall in the north and center of the country.