Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Flash Floods in the Judean Wilderness (with Photos)

This weekend there was a big storm in Israel. I slept through most of it but realized the magnitude when I saw that my home modem was fried and a network switch at the office wasn't working. I didn't realize how much rain had come down or I might have done the smart thing and jumped in my van to go take pictures. The flash floods closed some roads and killed a few people, but for those with a safe vantage point, they were impressive. That evening I had a dinner scheduled with my friend Ferrell Jenkins. He had scheduled his group to spend the day in the Old City but re-routed because of the storm and thus was out in the wilderness watching the rivers run. I got to sit in his hotel room that evening as he downloaded the pictures from his camera. The shots he got were amazing. He had pictures you wouldn't believe if you couldn't see. Ferrell has graciously sent me a few of those with permission to post them here. I'm up north now and have only a slow internet connection, so these pictures are unfortunately low-res.

This first one shows a wider view. There are multiple "rivers" of water flowing down into the Wadi Qilt. The wadi itself has become a river. This photo was taken from a viewpoint overlooking St. George's Monastery (which is just off to the left).


The second is a close-up of one of the "waterfalls." Most of the year this area is brown and dead. You wouldn't guess that it had seen a drop of water in centuries. Now you know better.


The last shows the Wadi Qilt in Jericho as it runs under a modern bridge. Normally as we cross this dry riverbed on the bus I comment to the students that when it rains this could be a raging torrent. They shrug and ask the driver to please turn up the A/C.


My thanks to Ferrell Jenkins for letting me share these photos here. If you've got a minute, take a look at Ferrell's website, www.biblicalstudies.info. He has put together many excellent and helpful resources during his years of teaching.

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