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Rainstorm in Eilat Photo: Meir Ohayon
Rainstorm in Eilat Photo: Meir Ohayon

Storm shuts down Eilat Airport

With landing strips flooded, flights from Tel Aviv are forced to double back while others are delayed; onset of winter weather felt across country

Meir Ohayon
Published: 11.09.12, 18:00 / Israel Environment

A rainstorm washing over the southern city of Eilat threatened to ruin many a holiday on Friday as flooding prompted the Israeli Airport Authority to shut down the local airfield.


Planes scheduled to leave Eilat Airport were delayed, while two flights heading towards the city from Tel Aviv had to double back. Another flight was rerouted to the nearby Ovda.

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The Airport Authority said it was doing its best to clean up the landing strips and restore normal activity at the airport.


The traffic police blocked the northern entrance to Eilat due to the flooding, but later reopened it.



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Flooding and rain in Eilat

The onset of winter weather was not confined to the resort city; a light rain ended a dry spell in Beersheba and even reached Tel Aviv before being yet again replaced by sunshine. Haifa led the rainfall chart with 25 mm of precipitation. Jerusalem saw some rain as well, albeit a few lone drops.


The rain and wind in central Israel caused a power outage in the northern Tel Aviv neighborhood of Ramat Aviv, but the malfunction was repaired within an hour. In Bat Yam, a tree collapsed, damaging two cars.

נמל התעופה באילת 

Flooded Eilat Airport


נרטבים באילת (צילום: מאיר אוחיון) 

Getting wet in resort city (Photo: Meir Ohayon)


בלי מונה (צילום: מאיר אוחיון) 

Weathering the storm (Photo: Meir Ohayon)


Meteorologists warned that the stormy weather was only due to get worse. Rain and thunderstorms were expected to hit northern and central Israel overnight, before subsiding on Saturday afternoon. Temperatures were expected to drop.


With winds reaching 70 km/h (44 mi), the waves in Mediterranean were expected to reach six-meter height over the weekend.


Shahar Chai contributed to the report



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