Israel evacuates U.S. tourists stranded due to heavy rain

( As Israel was hit with an unusually large 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 required to evacuate about 70 U.S. tourists who were stranded overnight in a parking lot.

Israel was hit with an unusually high amount of rain Wednesday and Thursday. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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.

Additionally, a group of around 200 students from Hadera and their parents, stranded at Masada after the flooding blocked off their exit route, were evacuated to a nearby village. 

Elsewhere around the country, flooding caused the shutdown of roads and highways, causing problems for drivers and hikers, according to police. The rain fell in “exceptionally large amounts,” Amos Porat, director of the Israel Meteorological Service Climate Department, told The Jerusalem Post.

Posted on May 8, 2014 .