Worst Flood in Years, Result of 48-hour Storm, Ravages Palestine

Palestine today surveyed the result of its worst flood in recent history, which destroyed property valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, swept away homes and left hundreds of families destitute. No loss of life was reported.

The flood was caused by a 48-hour storm, the worst in recent years. Rainfall of 300 millimeters (about 11.7 inches) was registered in Tel Aviv — more than one-half the average annual rainfall of 540 millimeters (about 21 inches).

The torrential rains came at the opening of Palestine’s rainy season. A wall of water poured down from the Judaean Hills, inundating most of the roads in the fertile, Jewish-colonized Sharon Valley. Railway tracks were covered and telephone lines were downed.

The torrent raged down the Wadi Musrarah, a normally placid streamlet, to the Yarkon River, which overflowed its banks, sweeping to the Mediterranean a bridge linking the Tel Aviv airport, north of the city, and the Reading Power Station, whose concrete walls resisted the flood. Scores of the station’s employee were marooned and were sent food by a rope throw across the Yarkon.

Large districts of Tel Aviv, especially in the suburbs, were submerged by the waters of the swollen Yarkon, which empties into the sea at Tel Aviv. Scores of families were evacuated from the Hatikvah quarter of the all-Jewish city. Harbor boats aided police and firemen to take families from roofs and windows of this and adjacent sections. A special train removed 300 half-naked refugees to temporary lodgings in community centers. The Tel Aviv port was not damaged.

At Ramat Gan, a northern suburb of Tel Aviv, Jewish police worked day and night to rescue Arab families in the vicinity despite prevailing Arab-Jewish tension. Five British police marooned in a police car at Sarona, German colony near Tel Aviv, were rescued and removed to Hadassah hospital. Scores of persons were being treated at Hadassah and Beilinson hospitals. A poultry farm of a women’s cooperative settlement between Tel Aviv and Petach Tikvah was swept away.

Several hundred immigrants who had arrived at Haifa on the liners Polonia, Patria and Galilee were caught in the storm en route to Tel Aviv and were given refuge in colonies. One group was rescued from a bus top.

The flood hampered but did not halt Arab terrorist activities. Terrorists sniped at Jewish traffic between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. A band entered the Government hospital in Gaza, shot dead an Arab patient and stabbed to death his mother, who was visiting him.

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