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Driver Feared Drowned in Flood

Navy divers and large police units continued to search for a driver feared drowned in a heavy storm Wednesday when his car plunged 10 feet into a collapsed roadway.

Mark Kaplan, a 57-year-old mechanical engineer who emigrated from the Soviet Union four years ago, apparently was trying to drive over a flooded road near Nes Ziona, north of Rehovot, in disregard of warnings by fellow drivers.

His badly damaged car was found some distance away in waters raging through a normally dry riverbed.

The body of another driver was found Wednesday in the Jerusalem hills, northwest of Ramallah. The storm dumped near record rainfall in parts of the country, triggering power blackouts and blanketing Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in snow.

The heavy rainfall raised the level of Lake Kinneret by close to 7 inches in less than two days. Sluice gates at the southern end of the lake were opened to their maximum, propelling about 280 million cubic feet of water a day into the Jordan River on its way to the Dead Sea. The rains abated Thursday.

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