By: Nathan Jeffay – The Times of Israel;

At perennially parched freshwater lake where Jesus walked on water, weeks of major rainfall could see nearby dam opened to send water into Jordan River for first time since 2013

TIBERIAS — It’s a Tu Bishvat dream come true for Tiberias residents: The Sea of Galilee is at its highest level that most can remember.

“We’re at the top level of excitement that people reach around here,” said Rami Ben-Tzvi, 72, standing by the rowing club that he runs. He looked in amazement at the water in front of him. Although the level is still 210.04 meters (689 feet) below sea level, it’s some 1.75 meters (5.74 feet) higher than at the start of January.

Ben-Tzvi said the last time he can remember such a scene at the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s largest source of fresh water, was during the major storms of 1992. He noted that it’s a new sight to many locals.

Rain since early January has been so plentiful that if the downpours predicted for the rest of this week take place, the water level could soon rise by around 1.25 meters (4.1 feet), at which point a city accustomed to worrying about drought would be at risk of flooding.

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