Unusual rainfall Wednesday morning, mainly in southern Israel, caused street flooding and destroyed homes as water penetrated and flooded them. Sderot resident Doron Revivo of Sderot in the Negev desert, whose home was flooded, told Channel 2 News: “It started two hours ago and I believe it happened because of the poor drainage in our city. Not only my house was flooded, but almost all the homes in the neighborhood.”
Many Israeli cities are not prepared in terms of their infrastructure for heavy rains, because those are so rare, especially down south. As a result, a serious rain can paralyze traffic and damage electric and other services. Revivo attributed the damage to his property to works the municipality had been carrying out in the area which left the low laying homes in his neighborhood exposed. Clearly, no one in city hall expected floods in June.
Sderot resident David Mansur described the scene there on Army Radio: “The whole city became Venice. Everything is flooded, the playground, there are ten cars stuck in the puddles. No one enters or exits the market. The infrastructure is old, they aren’t investing in it, only cosmetic touches. Now here’s rain and that’s what happens.”
“We’re tired of cleaning up, the mud entered every hole, the furniture, the living room,” Revivo described his ordeal. “There was a power outage, but we don’t want to turn on the electricity now because the house is full of water. So many things were destroyed – chests, wood that was on the floor. We’ll have to clear the mud and the water to figure out the extent of the damage.”
In the morning, the rains concentrated in the western parts of the country, in the towns and settlements of the coastal plain, in the center of the country, and the Shfela plain leading to Jerusalem. During the night, rain also fell in the Tel Aviv area. The showers are expected to continue throughout the country Wednesday and to decline in the afternoon.
This is a very special morning in terms of the weather, because rain in the middle of June is so unusual in Israel. The last significant rainfall in June was recorded back in 1992.
Dorot (near Sderot) saw 66 mm of rain Wednesday; Shoval (near Netivot) 52 mm: at Yad Mordechai 48 mm, in Erez 45 mm, in Ashkelon 37 mm, and in Carmiel, up north, 36 mm.
Tomorrow the weather is expected to be partly cloudy. Temperatures will rise, especially in the interior and mountains, and will be seasonably normal. On Thursday afternoon there may be local rains in the northeast of the country. In the coming days, temperatures will rise and reach heat wave levels on Shabbat. A drop in temperatures is expected only at the beginning of next week.