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12/31/2006

Flooding in Gaza has split the Strip in two

Earth News: Middle East
Dec 30, 2006

The Gaza Strip, home to 1.2 million Palestinians, has faced an UNPRECEDENTED RAINFALL this week that has resulting in flooding in many places. With all major bridges having been obliterated by the Israeli bombing of infrastructure this summer, the floods have literally cut off the nothern half of the Gaza Strip from the South. Completely surrounded by Israeli military forces and electrified fences, the residents of Gaza have no other route by which to bypass the flood. Gaza residents had been using makeshift dirt roads through the canyon and the (normally) shallow river that runs from east to west across the middle of the Strip. But the rains have rendered those tracks impassable. Waters have been steadily rising in central Gaza since the winter rains, heavier than usual, began several days ago.

TORRENTIAL RAINS/ FLOODING

BRITAIN - A young woman has been killed after storms wreaked havoc across Britain on Friday night. The 18-year-old woman was inside a mobile home in Cheadle, Staffordshire, when a 60ft high tree crashed on to its roof. The gale force conditions have also delayed the investigation into a helicopter crash in Morecambe Bay. Six men died in the accident at a Centrica gas rig on Wednesday evening and another man is missing presumed dead. Rescuers called off the search for the missing man after forecasters predicted high winds over the next few days. Further stormy weather and 75mph winds are predicted to hit on New Year's Eve.

TEXAS - Storms caused by the same weather system that was bringing another blizzard to Colorado pounded much of Texas on Friday as high winds, lightning and flash floods left a trail of damaged property, splintered trees and downed power lines across the eastern half of the state. Hardest hit appeared to be Limestone County, where one man was killed near Groesbeck when a tornado touched down. Between 25 and 50 buildings across Limestone County could be destroyed. "Many houses completely imploded." "This was a very, very powerful upper-level system. It was affecting weather all the way from Houston all the way to Denver." The storms were caused by a cold front interacting with a strong low-pressure system. That, coupled with plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, produced an ideal recipe for severe weather. "It was a huge upper-level low." "Plus, the brunt of the storm is still yet to hit our areas."
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