Since the early morning hours, from the north to the south, heavy rain fell across Israel, leading many national parks to note a considerably low number of visitors. In the Jezreel Valley, the main holiday events were canceled, and in Haifa rains caused flooding in seaside neighborhoods.
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The rain began late Tuesday, starting in the north. During the night it started moving southwards, leading residents all over the country to report heavy lightening storms throughout the night. "This is real winter, it looks like we're in February not May," Tzahi Waxman, a meteorologist from Meto-Tech, said.
Upper Galilee (Photo: Noam Gibori)
The Galilee region recorded 15-20 mm of rain, followed by Kfar Vradim with 18 mm, Haifa with 13 mm and the Golan and Beersheba with 10 mm each.
The best news the rain brought with it was the 15-25 mm recorded in the Kinneret region, filling Israel's ever depleted reservoirs.
Looming rain clouds (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
In Haifa the rain caused flooding in the city's seaside Bat Galim neighborhood. One resident was stuck facing flooding one meter high; with waters causing damage to cars, stores and apartments. Municipality emergency crews worked to minimize the damage and assist residents.
However, some people took advantage of the situation to take a trip in their kayak, while others helped rescue operations.
Haifa or Venice (Photo: Zeev Caspi)
Because of the flooding, in Nahal Dargot in the Dead Sea area, a rescue crew was deployed to rescue six people, three of whom were children, and search for additional hikers in the area.
In the Jezreel Vally, considered to be a symbol of the holiday because of its massive fields, local cheese production and famous wheat harvesting events, the holiday's central ceremony was postponed because of the rains.
Children play with goat. Kibbutz Amir (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
However, some places enjoyed a large number of visitors. In the Gaza vicinity area and northern Negev thousands descended on dairy farms, enjoying local cheeses considered to be a staple of the harvest holiday.
"The rain deterred some, but despite that many people came," Livant Ginsburg from a local tourist council said, inviting people to come to the Tze'ela dairy farm to enjoy tours and cheese tastings.
In central Israel, residents were greeted with grey skies and light drizzle, and hence preferred to stay at home. Despite that, there were some who chose to hold a picnic in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park.
Omri, from the Society for a Vegan Future, organized a picnic in the park: 'We are holding a huge event with vegan friendly cheese alternatives, quiches and sandwiches. 1,000 people are expected to arrive."
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