Photo: Moti Kimhi
Ayalon Highway Tuesday morning
Photo: Moti Kimhi
Photo: Ofer Amram
River threatens to overflow
Photo: Ofer Amram
Ayalon Highway reopens after standstill
Tel Aviv Police reopen central Israel's main expressway in both directions after floods brought traffic to a halt. Police say heavy rain, coming tide likely to force its closing again

The Ayalon Highway has been opened in both directions, north and south, Tuesday afternoon, after being closed for over nine hours due to flooding.


Police had closed the expressway – for the first time in a decade – fearing the Ayalon River will overflow. By mid-day, water levels at the HaShalom intersection in central Tel Aviv reached 40 centimeters.


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On Tuesday morning, heavy traffic was recorded in highways 2 and 4. The Highway Police called on Israelis to avoid traveling to Tel Aviv barring an emergency; further warning that the heavy rain and coming tide are likely to force the highway's closing again in the evening hours.


נחל הירקון בתל-אביב, הבוקר (צילום: אסף קוטאי)

Yarkon River overflows (Photo: Assaf Kutai)


נתיבי איילון מוצפים, הבוקר (צילום: יואב כהן)

Ayalon Highway, Tuesday morning (Photo: Yoav Cohen)


Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv Municipality announced it was preparing to evacuate residents for fear of floods in the city's southern and northern neighborhoods.


(צילום: גלעד מורג)

Floods in Ayalon (Photo: Gilad Morag)


Heavy disruptions were noted by Israel Railways as well, as trains were ordered to drive more slowly. Flooding in railway stations in Tel Aviv and Lod have also led Israel Railways to suspend operations on several routes. 


The stormy weather had led several other roads in Israel to be closed and has already caused heavy damage across the country on Monday. The Modiin Mall was shut down Monday after it was overrun by water. It was later reopened.


The weather has also caused studies to be suspended at the Tamar Regional Council in southern Israel.


A particularly stormy weather front arrived in Israel Sunday, and the Israel Meteorological Service expects it will last through to the weekend.


Raanan Ben-Zur, Gilad Morag, Shiri Hadar, Neri Brenner, Hillel Posek, Boaz Fyler and Hassan Shaalan contributed to this report




First published: 08.01.13, 09:40
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