Saudi students stay home for fifth straight day as flooding grips desert kingdom

Saudi authorities have canceled school in the capital, Riyadh, and other regions for a fifth consecutive day after heavy rains flooded roads and knocked out power across the kingdom.

Storms occur nearly every year in the arid kingdom as weather patterns shift in the cooler months, but this year's cloudbursts have been among the most severe since more than 100 people died in floods in 2009. At least four deaths are blamed on the current downpours.

The official Saudi Press Agency said schools were closed again Wednesday in Riyadh and at least four other provinces. Classes have been out since Saturday, shortly after the rains began.

Social media images from Saudi Arabia have included camels knee-deep in flood water and a man floating down a street atop a foam block.