TEL AVIV: Unusually heavy winter rains forced the closure of main access routes to Tel Aviv on Tuesday, causing gridlock in and around Israel's commercial capital, authorities said.
Traffic backed up for hours as highways into Tel Aviv were flooded, police said. Rail operator asked commuters to avoid stations in the city and train schedules were disrupted.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai told Army Radio that municipal teams were on hand to rescue anyone stranded by the floods, the likes of which last occurred in 2000.
"Inside the city today traffic is massive. I would advise people who don't need to go out, not to leave home," Huldai said.
The storms were forecast to continue on Wednesday, with rare snowfall expected in Jerusalem.