Netanyahu to Jerusalem Residents: Look Out for Each Other

January 6, 2015  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a special meeting ahead of the cold front and storm expected to hit Jerusalem Tuesday and Wednesday, along with Mayor Nir Barkat, Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe Edri, and representatives of the Israel Electric Company (IEC), the IDF, welfare institutions, and rescue agencies. 

”I am impressed by the work done here by the various authorities to coordinate and prepare for the storm,” Netanyahu stated. “We have three tasks: first – saving lives; second – maintaining essential services; third – encouraging residents to help other residents.” 

The Prime Minister emphasized that ”beyond what the state is doing, and will do, beyond what municipalities are doing, and will do – I ask the citizens of Israel to just keep an eye on their neighbors and help them.” 

High winds have already begun bringing the cold front in Israel from the north, and the winds – reported throughout most of central Israel – are expected only to pick up in the coming hours. A sand storm warning is in effect in the Negev and rain has already been reported on and off in the north since Tuesday morning. Snow has fallen on Mt. Hermon and on several high points in the far north. 

Heavy rain and high winds are expected in the north and center Tuesday night, with strong winds overall throughout the country. A flood warning is in effect for all low-lying areas. 

The heavy rain and wind is expected to continue throughout Wednesday, with rain reaching the northern Negev. Cities at higher elevations in the north and center, including Jerusalem and Safed, are expected to see snowfall. Light snow is also projected to fall in the higher regions of the Negev as well and the region will be unseasonably cold. 

Rain is expected to fall throughout the country on Thursday, with snowfall continuing in the affected areas. Winds are expected to slow; temperatures are projected to remain cool. 

Light rain will continue Friday from the north to the Negev, and the central district may continue to see snowfall. 

Hysteria over the storm follows record snows during the winter of 2013 which left millions without power throughout the north and center of the country and floods wreaking havoc on coastal and western cities. 

Ahead of the storm, the Jerusalem municipality has taken drastic measures to anticipate problems, with a platoon of 150 plows brought into the city, talk of closing roads in and out of the city from Tuesday evening until as far as Saturday to prevent congestion, and public transport and schools being ground to a halt until the storm passes. 

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