Arab News –  Another wave of bad weather is likely to affect the Kingdom Tuesday through Friday. The Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) announced Friday that rains coupled with thunderstorms are expected to lash Hail, Qassim, Madinah, the Northern Border province, Al-Jouf, northeastern areas which will also spread to Riyadh, Makkah and Baha.
The capital experienced bright sunshine and the roads were looking neat and tidy after the rains. Riyadh Municipality workers did thorough cleaning of the streets,
The Saudi Red Crescent said it ferried 237 injured people to hospitals during the rains. There were six cases of electrocution and 12 persons were wounded due to falling trees, he said.
Exits 33 and 34 on the western ring road have been reopened for traffic. Special equipment was used to clear flooded underpasses.
An official from the Saudi Wildlife Authority told Arab News that rains will make a conducive environment for wildlife and plants. “In the event of good rains this season, we can expect a higher percentage during the next breeding season in the spring.”
A Canadian engineer, in charge of road construction and maintenance projects in the capital, said the main reason behind flooding is the drainage system and the catch basins are not cleaned and properly maintained. “The road cleaners sweep the sand and dust into these catch basins and they get filled with debris. When it rains, these basins do not function properly.”
Meanwhile, in response to criticism that it should have called for schools to close during heavy rainfall across the Kingdom this week, the PME said this was the responsibility of the Education Ministry.
Hussein Al-Qahtani, spokesman of the PME, said that the organization only has a mandate to check weather conditions and issue reports and warnings. All bodies, including government agencies, would have to decide on their own how to respond.
He was responding to criticism from the Taif education department, which stated that the PME should have told schools to close on Wednesday during heavy rainfall, which saw extensive flooding in the city, car accidents resulting in the injury of teachers, and the death of some students.

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