Flooding Shuts Down Ashkelon

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
Firefighters paddle across a flooded street after heavy rains in Ashkelon on Monday. (Edi Israel/Flash90)
Firefighters paddle across a flooded street after heavy rains in Ashkelon on Monday. (Edi Israel/Flash90)
A partially collapsed street in Ashkelon after heavy rains and flooding on Monday. (Reuters/Amir Cohen )
A partially collapsed street in Ashkelon after heavy rains and flooding on Monday. (Reuters/Amir Cohen )

The southern coastal city of Ashkelon was rained out on Monday, as half a year’s annual rainfall in three hours caved in roads and flooded streets, stranding hundreds of people and cars.

B’chasdei Shamayim, no injuries were reported. But the chaotic conditions caused by the flooding led officials to convene an emergency situation room and to close the entrance to the city where a gaping hole was left in a collapsed roadway.

Fire and police units were sent out to numerous locations to rescue residents and motorists trapped in their cars as the sudden waters surged around them.

The flooding caused Barzilai Medical Center to curtail all nonessential services and close its outpatient wards. The emergency room, an operations room, the cafeteria, the pediatric department and the hospital’s main halls were all inundated. The waters were so high that the roofs of parked vehicles could barely be seen above them, Ynet reported.

Hundreds of power outages were also reported.

Some 11.8 inches of rain fell in the city during just three hours, the equivalent of almost half of Ashkelon’s average annual precipitation.