Powerful Rainstorm Batters Israel; Construction Worker Killed

Worker was killed when a wall collapsed due to the extreme weather conditions; woman seriously injured after tree collapses on bus.

A strong rainstorm hit Israel on Sunday morning, causing power outages in several areas and toppling at least two cranes.  

As of Sunday evening, tens of thousands of people remained without power in dozens of towns and cities across Israel. The Israel Electric Company said that due to flooding, collapsed trees, and resulting traffic delays, repairing the damage could take hours, meaning the outages could last until Monday morning.

But the IEC also blamed the labor unions for the delays. The company said it has turned to the labor court after "getting the impression" that its "employees aren't working in emergency mode as is expected in situations as these." The court ordered the employees to work in emergency mode. The IEC workers' committee said in response that the employees are "collapsing under the load, which stems from mismanagement."   

Earlier, construction worker was killed when a wall collapsed in Pardes Hana due to the extreme weather conditions.

In Hadera, a tree collapsed on a bus, injuring a woman in her 20s. She was taken to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in serious condition.

Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv was shut down for about an hour. There were no disruptions reported at Ben Gurion Airport.

Railroad traffic was also disrupted by trees collapsing on the rails.
Strong winds toppled cranes in Netanya and Tel Aviv. There were no injuries reported.

The rain in expected to spread along the entire coast, and flash flood warning have been issued for the east and south of the country.

The weather is expected to stabilize on Monday, but rain will keep falling across Israel.

Tzipi Spungin
AFP