Flooding in North Follows South

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Following two days of record rainfall in the south, heavy downpours in the north flooded rail lines, bridges and homes in the north.

On Tuesday, rescue workers retrieved the body of Yoram Hochman, 58, the second victim of flooding in the desert. Hochman, his brother, Alex, and friend Sarah Noy Fogel, who drove to the south to see the phenomenon, were swept away when they tried to cross a flooded riverbed in their jeep, Alex, the sole survivor, said.

Several cities in the south were inundated with rain, including Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, which received three-quarters of its average annual rainfall, the Israel Meteorological Service reported.

Kibbutz Sde Boker, former home of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, and Kibbutz Revivim, both received more rainfall than had ever been recorded since recordkeeping began.

Meanwhile in the northern coastal city of Nahariya, police had to close streets due to flooding. Two families were evacuated from flooded homes, one in Nahariya and a second in Ma'a lot.

Flooded tracks delayed train service between Nahariya and Haifa. Southbound trains from Hof Hacarmel were limited to one line.  

Two support walls on streets in the port city of Haifa collapsed, though thankfully no one was injured. Streets were also flooded.

Snow, which began falling in Mt. Hermon, is expected to continue till the end of the week.

Despite the heavy rains, the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the coastal aquifers are still in need of much more rain after five consecutive winters of below-average rainfall.

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The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.

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