Wind Speeds of 120 Kilometers per Hour

Stormy Weather Causes Damage, Injures More Than 10 Israelis

Weather across Israel causes injuries and floods, knocks down trees; Herzliya train station is still closed and flights to Eilat are rerouted as strong winds and rain continue.

The stormy weather continued to cause damage Monday throughout the country, as more than 10 Israelis were injured by trees that were knocked down during the storm.

At Magen Junction in the south two passengers were slightly injured when a tree collapsed onto their vehicle. They were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva for medical treatment. On Bartenura Street in Bnei Brak a man was lightly injured when he was hit by a flying tree branch and received medical treatment on the spot. A resident of Ashdod was also lightly hurt from a tree that fell on his car. A 94-year-old woman in Be'er Sheva also sustained light injuries after she was knocked down by the wind. 

In Givatayim 10 trees have fallen, some causing damage. On Golomb Street a bus stop was damaged and in a number of other places around town building site fences have been uprooted. No injuries were reported.

In Nesher, near Haifa, a tin structure collapsed, damaging parked cars. In Hadera and Pardes Hannah trees have fallen and a number of homes have been flooded. A tree fell on the road near Biriya, blocking traffic in the area, as did a mudslide. In addition, Route 804 in the north is closed to traffic on the segment between Arabeh and Lotem in the wake of flooding in the Hilazon riverbed. Floods in the Upper Galilee have also caused serious damage to fields. The Herzliya train station remained closed Monday after the passenger platforms were flooded Sunday.

The storm, accompanied by strong winds, is now reaching its peak and it will weaken a bit in the afternoon. In the past several hours the rain has spread from the north to the central Negev and the winds have been blowing hard. According to Meteo-Tech Meteorlogic Services, wind speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour have been reported.

In the afternoon the rain and the wind will abate but in the second part of tonight and toward Tuesday morning the rains will pick up force again. On Tuesday strong winds will blow but at lower velocities than last night. Temperatures will continue to be low and snow is expected in the Golan Heights.

According to Meteo-Tech data, during the past 12 hours 65 millimeters of precipitation have fallen in the northern Golan Heights; in Safed, 74 millimeters; in Kfar Vradim, 52 millimeters; and in Jerusalem, 13. In Be’er Sheva only 3 millimeters have been recorded.

During the past 24 hours the water level in the Sea of Galilee has risen by 10 centimeters to -211.72 meters. The lake is 2.92 meters short of the upper red line. In the north the rain has led to increased flow from the Snir, Hermon and Dan streambeds into the Jordan River. According to the forecasts, the increased flow and the additional rainfall predicted for this week are expected to cause the water level in the lake to rise even higher.

Due to the weather there have also been disruptions in air traffic. Arkia Israeli Airlines relocated its domestic activity Monday, including flights to Eilat, from Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv to Ben-Gurion International Airport due to the severe weather conditions.

In preparation for patients suffering from hypothermia, the main emergency room at Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed has equipped itself with stocks of infusions, external warming equipment and thermal. In case the roads to the hospital are blocked by heavy snowfall, all-terrain vehicles will be placed at the disposal of the medical center by volunteers for patients with urgent problems (like those who need dialysis) and are unable to arrive on their own. Increased supplies of heating oil, oxygen, pharmaceuticals and food will also be stockpiled, in case there is limited access to the medical center.

Zafrir Rinat, Eli Ashkenazi, Ilan Lior, Yaniv Kubovich, Daniel Schmil and Zohar Blumenkrantz have contributed reporting