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December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Route 31’

Negev Loses Airport Night Trains

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Residents of southern Israel – particularly those living in the periphery communities in the Negev – will no longer have the option of taking the train to and from the airport after 11:00 p.m.

A spokesperson for Israel Railways told The Jewish Press on Thursday morning the service just didn’t pay for itself. “The government and the railway company made the decision together,” said the spokesperson, who added the figures totaled only an average of five or six riders per night on the line. “It wasn’t cost effective.”

Instead, it was decided the Metropoline Bus Service will take over the route, she said. Bus #469 will begin at the Arlozorov station in Tel Aviv and then make a stop at the airport, travel to Kiryat Gat and then go to the central bus station in Be’er Sheva.

That’s a solution for folks who live in the city of Be’er Sheva itself, perhaps – but what about those who live in the small periphery towns where bus service doesn’t exist overnight?

“Tough luck, baby,” said one consumer. “We’re stuck with paying hundreds of shekels for travel after 11 pm, just like we always have – and that after first spending hours traveling to the other cities just to get a little closer. Instead of paying NIS 600 to get home, I end up paying NIS 300 from Be’er Sheva, but spend three more hours after a 12-hour flight and another hour or more in baggage claims. Forget it.”

The Negev region comprises 60 percent of the nation’s land mass – but its travel network has yet to be developed to the point that even half of its communities have any access to railway service at all.

When asked why there is still no railway branch route to Arad, for example — while Dimona, a city of similar size and population, has had one for several years – the spokesperson for Israel Railways could not find a reason. Arad, a ‘clean air’ resort town located about 45 minutes east of Be’er Sheva and 25 minutes west of the Dead Sea, is in the midst of a major development boom due to the expansion of Route 31, which runs between the two points.

The Nevatim air base is located near Route 31 – described in Hebrew media as ‘death road’ due to the high number of motor vehicle fatalities that have occurred along the highway — as is the Nahal army base at Tel Arad.

Unexpected Downpour Swells Lake Kinneret, Creates Havoc in Israel

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The sun peeked out just long enough Thursday afternoon for Israelis to see the flooding caused by the “sound and light show” they endured over Wednesday night.

Cracks of thunder and long streaks of lightning interspersed with the downpour that sent sheets of rain down through the skies over Israel, drenching the entire country.

Downpours at this time of year are unusual but not unheard of, meteorologist said. By mid-afternoon Thursday, the skies in southern Israel were once again filled with leaden clouds that appeared once more to be pregnant with rain. It was not clear whether in fact more precipitation was on the way; the forecast calls for the possibility for rain, continuing even into as Friday morning.

Rain is considered a blessing in this part of the world no matter when it arrives. There has been a 2.5-centimeter (one inch) rise in the water level of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) as a result of the record-breaking downpour.

But some may have seen it as a mixed blessing: Fifteen members of the Bnei Akiva youth group were trapped in a southern Israeli parking lot due to the flooding. They were rescued by special teams and evacuated from the scene by helicopter. IDF vehicles prepared to enter the area to help evacuate remaining hikers who had been touring in the area.

Bezeq phone lines were still down around the Dead Sea area at midday and service was sporadic at best.

Cell phone companies were scrambling to restore service in the central region. In the Jerusalem area, Cellcom customers reported all kinds of difficulties in placing their calls and in sending text messages Thursday afternoon.

The company had not formulated a response to the complaints by mid-afternoon.

Further south, near Eilat, Route 90 was still closed to traffic by late afternoon due to flash flooding that swamped the road after a night of thunder and lightning that swept Israel from north to south. Route 31, which had been closed earlier in the day, is now open.

Thunderstorms Strike Israel

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The blessing for rain may have been left behind for the winter season, but the Heavens re-opened on Wednesday night anyway with additional blessings for the Land of Israel.

The entire country was hit and the rainstorms that began overnight are carrying on through Thursday and expected to continue possibly into Friday. Storms of this intensity are unusual in Israel in May, but not unheard of.

Communities in Gush Etzion were left without power overnight. Main highways were shut down due to flooding around the Dead Sea and in the northeastern Negev city of Arad at least one home was flooded due to cracks in a ceiling where the roof gave way.

There were also reports of numerous Bezeq telephone lines being knocked out at the southern end of the Dead Sea, in the Ein Bokek area, due to flooding in the region.

Israeli rescue teams are warning the public about the dangers of trying to cross flooded terrain across the country. Even if the flow of the waters appears to be weak, warned officials, there is simply no way to measure the water’s depth and strength.

Waves can be intense and suddenly rise to flip a car over, officials explained. Floods also loosen rocks, which can easily trap a car within the flow of the water. If a driver encounters a flood while driving, he or she is advised to wait until the rush of the water has stopped entirely before continuing to drive. Failing that option, turn around and head back. Better safe than sorry, in all cases.

Anyone who requires assistance is advised to dial 100, the Israel Police.

Due to the flooding, Route 90 is still closed to traffic in both directions from the Dergot Peaks to the hotel strip at Ein Bokek. The same road has been shut down at the northern end of the Dead Sea up to the Arava Junction as well. Traffic police are deployed at both locations to head off unwary travelers.

In addition, Route 31 heading down to the Dead Sea has also been closed.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/thunderstorms-strike-israel/2014/05/08/

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