web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Israel Slowly Recovering From Epic Snowstorm

Snow at the Kotel: Jerusalem was a winter wonderland when an epic storm blanketed parts of Israel. (2013)

Snow at the Kotel: Jerusalem was a winter wonderland when an epic storm blanketed parts of Israel. (2013)
Photo Credit: Steve Walz

JERUSALEM – A week after a massive pre-winter rain and snowstorm struck Israel, large portions of the country, including Jerusalem and its environs, are still struggling to return to normal daily life.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the nation’s municipalities, emergency service agencies, and the IDF for their heroic efforts to save lives during and after the storm, millions of frustrated local citizens and intercity commuters bombarded Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s office, bus companies and Israel Railways with angry phone calls.

As of Tuesday evening, Israeli police continued to shut down portions of Road 1 and 443 between Tel Aviv, Modiin and Jerusalem due to late night and early morning icy conditions near the entrance to Jerusalem. This resulted in massive traffic jams when roads reopened during the morning commute. Unlike the immediate spreading of large amounts of salt on major roads during winter storms in major American cities, Israeli authorities could not decide who was responsible for salting intercity roads and were unable to determine whether there was enough manpower to do the job. Thus, bus transportation from Tel Aviv and nearby Modiin to Jerusalem was sporadic or non-existent, forcing thousands of workers in both cities to either stay home or find alternate transportation to Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem, Barkat struggled to maximize the capabilities of salt trucks and tractors at his disposal, as many of the city’s bus lines were unable to offer service in most parts of the region, with many streets remaining unplowed and impassable. Jerusalem’s renowned light rail system finally returned to partial service on Monday evening. Only about half of metropolitan Jerusalem schools were reopened by Tuesday, three days after the storm – which dumped two feet of snow across the city – had dissipated.

Ironically, Israel Railways service between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv operated during and after the storm. However, on Tuesday, three days after floods enveloped part of the tracks between Modiin and Tel Aviv, service between the two cities (including Ben Gurion Airport), was not fully operational. This forced tens of thousands of people to cram into buses and take taxis.

Residents of northern Israel, especially those in Safed and the Golan Heights, were slowly beginning to see power restored and roads plowed. Many citizens there and in northern Samaria were stranded for several days until the IDF plowed the roads. Soldiers distributed foodstuffs and evacuated dozens of families.

Local volunteer organizations, like United Hatzalah of Israel, worked around the clock to assist citizens in need. Among its diverse actions, the groups distributed challah before Shabbat (most supermarkets and bakeries in Jerusalem were shuttered), delivered babies, and assisted seniors.

Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzalah of Israel, told The Jewish Press, “There were so many fascinating incidents during the height of the storm and afterwards. For instance, one of our top volunteers and head of international relations, Daniel Katzenstein, got a call from a 75-year-old lady with diabetes. Her sugar was a bit high but standard for her condition. Daniel explained to her that ambulance response time was running at 45 minutes or more and the hospitals would be swamped with cases. She said that she did not want an ambulance and certainly didn’t want to go to the hospital. She has regular visits to the nearby medical clinic to manage her diabetes and other medical conditions.

“Daniel asked why she called,” Beer continued. “She said that her legs were getting cold as the diabetes diminished blood flow to her extremities. She began to sob to Daniel that she was alone, and after a recent bus accident she couldn’t even wear proper shoes. After looking at her ripped sandals, worn-out socks and loose baggy trousers, Daniel realized the situation. He immediately went on the Neve Yaakov communications net and alerted local volunteers about the situation. We received a bag filled with thermal socks, sweatpants, blankets and warm slippers that Daniel delivered to her.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Israel Slowly Recovering From Epic Snowstorm”

  1. Basha Kline says:

    Can't beat a Jewish neshuma!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A "rifle-holding" lesson at a Palestinian Authority summer camp.
Palestinian Authority Incites Summer Camp Kids with AK-47 Rifles
Latest News Stories
Malachi Rosenfeld HY"D

The four men were returning from a basketball game near the Israeli community of Shvut Rachel when Palestinian Authority gunmen opened fire on their car in what security sources believe to have been a premeditated ambush.

The funeral for Rabbi Yekutiel Menachem Rapp is to pass by 770 Eastern Parkway Tuesday at 3:45 pm ET.

The United States and the other P5+1 powers unsurprisingly have extended the June 30 deadline for reaching an agreement to supervise and limit Iran’s nuclear development program. The extension is for one week, until July 7. As The JewishPress.com reported here earlier this week, “deadline” has a different meaning in the Muslim Middle East than […]

Bloodstained car after Palestinian Authority terrorists shot at Rosenfeld and three others  Monday night.

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, 25, lived in the community of Kochav HaShachar in Samaria.

“The PA message to Washington is they want peace. The PA message to their kids is killing Israelis is heroic. It’s time the U.S. figured out which is the true message.”

The agreement does not mean that Orange is leaving Israel, despite wrong headlines elsewhere.

ISIS executioners the past 12 months have murdered 3,000 people, including 86 women and 74 children.

The Tzohar rabbinic organization is focusing on how Anglo immigrants “fit” into Israel’s mosaic this summer.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu warned world leaders they must take a stand against terror in Israel as well.

Two US churches vote on BDS anti-Semitic motions today. One is to vote Wednesday. Millions could be affected.

Israel’s government approves new security fencing along its eastern border.

The father of a critically injured victim of Monday’s road terror attack in Binyamin asks people to pray for his son.

Some Chareidi men fishing on the beach, near the Ashdod port.

Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Yekutiel Rapp, 66, is struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Crown Heights.

Jews in Ukraine are without one of their life-saving Hatzolah ambulances after an arsonist targeted the vehicle Sunday.

Four Israelis hurt Monday night in a driveby terror attack by terrorists near Shvut Rachel.

More Articles from Steve K. Walz
: Israeli soldiers leave Gaza late Monday. A three-day cease-fire brokered by Egypt put an end, at least temporarily, to the fighting. See story, above.

As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.

Walz-080114-Map

The operation against the tunnels is a first and necessary step in the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.

The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.

“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.

Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”

If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.

Netanyahu brushed aside Lapid’s political threats, saying that he was either too politically inexperienced or unaware of the true nature of the peace negotiations with Abbas.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israel-slowly-recovering-from-epic-snowstorm/2013/12/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: