Israel: In the eye of the storm

Amid predictions of storm, authorities prepare for floods across country, city halls' emergency staff on alert. Public, private organizations attempt to aid homeless

Israel is preparing for a storm that will engulf the State from Mt. Hermon in the north to the Negev in the south starting Tuesday night. The winter storm is expected to last throughout the weekend, accompanied by strong winds and downpours of hail across the country.


Snow is expected on Mt. Hermon and might even make a wintry appearance in Jerusalem, while the southern Negev may see sand storms.


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Most residents are engaged in preparing for the storm, while authorities work on flood prevention in high-risk areas.

Tent city in Tel Aviv
Tent city in Tel Aviv

City Hall employee handing out blankets (Photo: Ido Erez) (Photo: Ido Erez)
City Hall employee handing out blankets (Photo: Ido Erez)

City patrol (Photo: Ido Erez) (Photo: Ido Erez)
City patrol (Photo: Ido Erez)


Welfare services have prepared an outline for emergency assistance procedures for people with special needs and for residents whose homes are flooded. Social workers will patrol areas frequented by the homeless to convince them to move into a shelter for the storm.


City halls from north to south are aiding the elderly, infants, and bed-ridden patients with blankets and heating equipment. Volunteers have been recruited to distribute hot drinks to soldiers in transportation stations.


Tel Aviv boardwalk flooding
Tel Aviv boardwalk flooding


Flooding in Kiryat Motzkin
Flooding in Kiryat Motzkin


In the capital, Jerusalem Municipality is expecting low temperatures, rains, and fierce winds. The Maintenance and Safety Department will operate crew to support any potential casualties, while firefighter crews are on alert and ready to deal with area floods.


One non-profit, Yad Ezer La’Haver – which supports Holocaust survivors and the needy – distributed 300 heaters and 500 blankets among Haifa' elderly population.


Memories of storms past

In Bat Hefer, many still remember the last winter, during which the neighboring Shechem River overflowed and caused mass damage to the community. The regional council head said he hoped the devastating sights of last year would not be repeated.


Flooding in the south (Photo: Matan Tzuri) (Photo: Matan Tzuri)
Flooding in the south (Photo: Matan Tzuri)


Arab villages in the Sharon region are also hoping to stave off residential flooding. The mayor of Tira said dozens of city employees will be on call in case of emergency.


Baqa al-Gharbiyye residents remember the floods that ruined their homes last year. The storm warning increased the trepidation among residents.


The mayor assured his constituency: "We are prepared for all emergency cases. We prepared the whole crew and all necessary work tools. Plow drivers are on standby to rescue drivers and open flooded roads."


Maor Buchnik, Ahiya Raved, Raanan Ben-Zur, Hassan Shaalan, Gilad Morag, Noam (Dabul) Dvir, Matan Tzuri, Matti Siver, Omri Efraim, Shachar Chai contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 12.10.13, 21:13
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