Israel Recovering from Unprecedented Flooding

Israel is enjoying some better weather today after being lashed by storms last week.

Astonishing pictures of rescue operations appeared on Wednesday 8th January as torrential rain caused serious flooding that trapped a number of people in different communities. Military vehicles, tractors and even JCBs were used to move people to safety.

Military truck and JCB used in rescueMilitary truck and JCB used in rescue (photo: Meir Vaknin/Flash90)

By the end of Wednesday, the unprecedented flooding had claimed 5 lives, including that of one 38-year-old man who was swept away while trying to rescue other people who were trapped in a car. That was a stark reminder of how forceful floodwaters can be, even in this region that has experienced a long period of below-average rainfall.

By noon on Sunday, insurance companies were reporting private damage claims worth more than $432 million. Repairs to public infrastructure are also estimated to cost millions, as roads were washed out, pipe and drainage systems damaged.

Just yesterday it was also reported that some military equipment was caught up in the problems. Some of Israel’s fighter jets and maintenance equipment were damaged at an army base in southern Israel, when hangars and repair workshops were flooded.

It seems that the IDF did not prepare well for such stormy weather. That might be an important lesson for the future.