Rescuers pulled children from a kindergarten in central Israel on Thursday as heavy rain battered central and northern parts of the country causing widespread flooding in residential areas and damage to roads.
After a few days of unseasonably warm temperatures, wintry weather returned on Wednesday causing heavy rain and lightning storms in northern and central parts of the country.
The rain continued on Thursday morning causing flooding on residential streets in central cities of Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, Ramat Hasharon, Ra'anana, Herzliya and many others.
In Hod Hasharon, firefighters evacuated a flooded kindergarten as well as several residential homes. Rescue teams reported houses, elevators and parking lots flooded andsaid they were operating in several locations simultaneously.
"This is not the first time this has happened, but this time it's more serious," said one local resident. "The whole junction was flooded and then our whole building - the apartments and the car park - was flooded. It was greatly damaged."
A train station in Herzliya was closed due to flooding nearby. Also in Herzliya, MDA teams were called to a private house that was flooded on Saadia Gaon Street. On IL Peretz Street in the city, a woman was was trapped in a flooded car and later rescued.
In the southern city of Ashkelon, part of a road in the coastal area of the city had collapsed. The city's Eli Cohen Street was also heavily flooded, leaving a man was trapped in a vehicle. He was safely rescued by firefighters.
Route 232 in the western Negev was blocked to traffic due to flooding from the Kokhav Mikha'el Junction to the Givati Junction in both directions. Police officers directed drivers to alternate routes.
There are fears of further flooding later in the day, especially in coastal areas.
Ynet meteorologist Danny Rup said that toward evening hours the rain will subside. Friday and Saturday will see cold temperatures and partly cloudy weather with a small chance of a local rain. No rain is expected early next week.
In the meantime, the Sea of Galilee's water level has increased by 2.5 cm in the past day and on Thursday morning stood at 209,955 meters below sea level, 1.155 meters short of full capacity, according to the Water Authority.
First published: 09:55 , 11.26.20