Flooding in the Negev (file)
Flooding in the Negev (file) Nati Shohat/Flash 90

The rains and flood warnings on Wednesday saw 16 youths aged around 18 trapped at a branch of the Tzalmon River in the Arava region of southern Israel.

The teens were stranded by the raging floodwaters, and the Arava rescue unit was dispatched to provide them with aid.

Currently the youths are not in any danger and they are waiting for rescue, reports Channel 2.

On its way to rescue the youths, the rescue unit found another group of 15 hikers who were evacuated in all-terrain vehicles.

The southern district police's Arava rescue unit sent out six teams in all-terrain vehicles to rescue the teens who were out hiking in the region. The unit added that the rains are expected to weaken and therefore they predict a quick rescue, with a rescue by air remaining a possibility if needed.

The weather has been stormy on Wednesday, with hail seen in parts of Jerusalem, Rosh Pina and parts of the Arava.

Earlier on Wednesday a bus with around 35 students on board was detained due to flood concerns on Highway 90 near Ein Hatzeva in the Negev, before being allowed to continue driving several minutes later.

Police announced that Highway 90 has been blocked to traffic in both directions near Ein Hatzeva due to erosion and flooding.

Flooding has been reported in various areas in the south due to the heavy rainfall, and normally dry riverbeds in the Negev currently are filled with powerful torrents.

Police have closed local roads in the south due to the flooding in several locations, including part of Highway 40 near Tziporim Junction, as well as at the entrance to the town Neot Hakikar.

Wednesday's rain is to slacken off towards nighttime, although local rains are predicted for Thursday as well before finally disappearing leading into a weekend that is to see a return of the warmer weather.