David Elhayani
David Elhayani Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Jordan Valley regional council head David Elhayani demanded on Thursday that the state declare a natural disaster in his region due to the deluge of rain, which has wrought massive agricultural damage.

Elhayani told Arutz Sheva that the huge amount of rain has caused millions of shekels in damage to farmers, stressing, "the damage here is massive."

Elaborating, he said, "70 millimeters (nearly three inches) of rain in half-an-hour, in a region between Tomer, Gilgal and Netiv Hagdud, caused floods in the Dalia River, destruction of the research center in Gilgal, agricultural fields and (agricultural) net houses were erased - millions of shekels in damage."

"I've been here since 1983 and I don't remember anything like this; in 1988 there were floods in Argaman, but not at such an unusual level like 70 millimeters of rain in half-an-hour," he said. "The rivers here rose and churned."

"Two hours ago we decided to close the highways in the Jordan Valley, after we were forced to rescue several cars that tried to cross," said Elhayani.

"The farmers lost the agricultural season at its start and we demand the state of Israel declare a natural disaster. It should be declared a natural disaster and Jordan Valley farmers should be compensated in accordance."