Daily Israel Report

Stormy Weather Raises Kinneret Waters, Causes Power Outages

Lake Kinneret once again rose Thursday as rain poured down upon the Land of Israel, causing power outages around the country.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/31/2013, 6:45 PM

Electricity technicians at work
Electricity technicians at work
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) was once again the beneficiary of a winter storm on Thursday as rain poured down upon the Land of Israel, causing power outages around the country.

The surface level of the lake has risen by four centimeters so far this week, to 210.71 meters below sea level, with only 1.91 meters to go before it reaches full capacity.

Should the lake actually reach its full capacity and then go beyond it, authorities will need to open the gates of the Degania Dam, in order to prevent the lake from cresting, and flooding into the city of Tiberias.

So far, the season’s rainfall has caused the water level of the lake to rise by 1.64 meters – already close to the annual average of 1.7 meters – long before the winter rains are expected to end, sometime in late March.

Rain, sometimes accompanied by gale-force gusts of wind that whipped the trees around, fell Thursday in sheets from as far north as Tzfat to as far south as the northern Negev city of Arad, where power outages lasted for hours in some neighborhoods, and were intermittent in others.

In places like Arad, which began as a development town on the periphery, the infrastructure is old, and the power grid is often supplied through a single cable into the city, which then distributes electricity through smaller substations located in the various neighborhoods.

The recent monster storm that struck the region caused major damage to this infrastructure, leaving many cables and substations in a fragile state of repair, and making the grid even more vulnerable to power outages during subsequent rain storms.