11/16/2011 20:20

Municipality says heavy work has been carried out to renovate city drainage system, prepared for winter.
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Anyone who has been in Israel during a downpour knows the drill. The clouds open up and within minutes the city streets are covered in ankle-deep water that remains long after the rain stops, and crossing the street becomes a water sport.

Though it appears that the city of Tel Aviv has a severe paucity of storm drains, the Tel Aviv Municipality said Wednesday that they have undertaken a wide range of renovations to the city’s water drainage system.

“The Tel Aviv Municipality is prepared for the winter, in addition to strengthening the city’s channeling system, the municipality is working to strengthen a number of systems, including urban channels, clearing of drainage paths to the sea, local improvements in the channeling system, setting up receptors and improving drainage ramps to improve the city’s drainage system.”

The statement also said that in recent years the city has carried out a “massive rehabilitation” of the drainage and sewage system across the city, as well as widening the channeling system meant to handle rainfall, projects that required an investment of millions of shekels.”

Perhaps owing to the heavy coverage given by the Israeli media to the washed out streets of several Tel Aviv neighborhoods, the municipality seemed committed to offering some perspective to the challenge rain poses to the “Start-Up Nation’s” hi-tech economic and cultural center.

“It is worth remembering that the storm let loose nearly 50mm of rain over the span of an hour-and-a-half, at the same time that the city drainage system was not prepared to deal with such an out of the ordinary level of rain in such a short amount of time.

“Like other city channeling systems in the world, Tel Aviv’s city canal system is equipped to handle a certain average amount of water. In cases where there is a downpour of a very large amount of rain in a short period of time, the drainage actions take a longer period of time.”

The flooding in Tel Aviv came two days after heavy rain left Modi’in’s Azrieli mall as Israel’s only indoor water park.

The inclement weather is expected to continue in the coming days.