Gishmei Brachah Raise Kinneret’s Level By Half a Meter

YERUSHALAYIM -
Sunset at the Kinneret. (Chen Leopold/Flash90)

The Kinneret has risen by over 56 centimeters since the beginning of the rainy season, the Israel Water Authority said Tuesday – and b’chasdei Hashem there seems to be no end in sight, with water continuing to flow into the lake and new rounds of heavy rains forecast.

The Kinneret added 5 centimeters between Monday and Tuesday mornings, and is currently at -211.34 meters. To reach its full capacity, the Kinneret needs another 2.54 meters. Even on relatively clear days, the Kinneret’s level keeps rising, as streams that drain into the lake continue to move rainfall that is already on the ground into it.

A new storm system is set to cross Israel on Wednesday and Thursday. Rain will begin Tuesday night in the north, spreading to the center and south on Wednesday and Thursday. Thunderstorms, accompanied by strong winds and heavy rain, are likely in most parts of the country. Temperatures will drop and become lower than usual. Snow is expected to fall on the Hermon, forecasters said.

Flooding should be expected in areas that are flood-prone, and with the ground already soaked from recent heavy storms, travelers and residents of such areas were being warned to take extra precautions. Residents of Tel Aviv in particular were  warned to beware of flooding and to take whatever precautions they could.

Four people died in flooding-related incidents over the weekend, among them Dean Shoshan and Steve Harari, who drowned in an elevator that was overcome by flood waters as enormous amounts of rain fell on central Tel Aviv.

The two were attempting to reach the underground garage of their apartment building in the Hatikvah neighborhood when the waters entered the elevator and trapped them.

A third person was critically injured in the incident. The incident occurred after nearly 80 millimeters of heavy rain had fallen on the area in the space of just a few hours. The rain overwhelmed the drainage systems in the area, and water quickly gathered and rose in the garage.