Israel braced for more rain and flooding Wednesday after winter storms that began across the country the day brought overnight flooding in coastal cities.
Many people were rescued from their stranded cars overnight in multiple locations across the country, from Nazareth in the north to Qalansawe in central Israel.
Residents of the central cities of Herzliya and Ramat Hasharon were also rescued by first responders when their homes were flooded.
In Ashdod, local authorities blocked major roads susceptible to flooding in the center of the city, causing disruptions to traffic.
Temperatures were expected to drop further Wednesday while flood warnings also remained in place.
The Meteorological Service said 114 mm of rain fell in the Lower Galilee and Jezreel Valley in the north, the largest amount of precipitation recorded in the past 24 hours.
Flood warnings were also issued in the southern deserts where roads were closed on Tuesday after the Faran River overflowed.
The current storm was expected to last into Thursday.
Due to the heavy rains, the Sea of Galilee's water level rose by three centimeters overnight, standing at -209.935 meters below sea level, the Government Water and Sewage Authority reported.
The rains began late Tuesday, clearing dust-laden skies after Israel was hit by a storm from the Sinai Peninsula.
The Environmental Protection Ministry issued a warning of high to very high air pollution across many parts of the country.
In consultation with the Health Ministry, it recommended that sensitive sectors of the population, including those suffering heart and lung problems, the elderly, children and pregnant women, all avoid strenuous outside physical activity.
First published: 09:09, 12.16.20