As Israel was hit with an unusually high amount of rain Wednesday and Thursday, several school groups and dozens of American tourists were stranded in the Negev desert due to the weather. Israeli rescue services were forced to evacuate about 70 U.S. tourists who were stranded overnight in a parking lot.
The evacuation took place via helicopters and jeeps Thursday morning, said Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. according to The Associated Press. Nobody was injured in the incident.
Elsewhere around the country, flooding yielded the shutdown of down roads and highways, causing problems for drivers and hikers, according to police. The rain was “exceptional with large amounts,” said Amos Porat, director of the Israel Meteorological Service Climate Department.
“The rainfall and thunderstorms we have experienced are a result of a very unstable atmosphere caused by warm air at low levels of the atmosphere accompanied by an upper air trough with cold air… We received a lot a humidity and cloudiness from the tropical areas of Africa,” Porat said.