Snow covers Jerusalem as storm rages on

In Tel Aviv the Ayalon Highway is open to traffic but there are still no trains.

Israel remains on high alert as the winter storms continue to rage. Snow has spread today from the Golan and Galilee to the mountains in the center and south of the country including Jerusalem. Snow is falling on peaks of over 700 meters including Jerusalem. The first snow flakes were seen mid-morning in higher Jerusalem neighborhoods like French Hill and Gilo and by early afternoon much of the city had been covered by light slow flurrie

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The Jerusalem Municipality kept schools open this morning but classes ended at midday ahead of anticipated snowstorms this afternoon. 100 snow-ploughs are on standby around the city ready to spread salt and sand to keep the capital's main roads open. The Jerusalem Municipality said that the Light Railway is expected to continue operations even after snow has fallen. Many roads are blocked in Gush Etzion and the Hebron Hills. Snow is also currently falling in Safed and the Golan Heights.

Tel Aviv Municipality reports that the Yarkon River has burst its banks and there are concerns that the surrounding neighborhoods of Ussishkin, Haargazim and Bnei Dan may be flooded.

The Ayalon Highway, which was closed yesterday after the Ayalon River flooded, causing chaos in traffic throughout central Israel, was reopened by the afternoon and is operating as usual this morning despite continued heavy rain. However, flooding and traffic light failures mean that there are larger jams than usual on the roads.

Israel Railways is still not operating trains along the Ayalon in Tel Aviv following flooding at Hashalom Station. Israel Railways will decide tomorrow whether to resume operations along the Ayalon and at Herzliya Station, which was flooded on Sunday. Elsewhere trains are running at slower than usual speeds for safety reasons.

The worst hit region of Israel over the past 12 hours has been Hadera and the surrounding villages. Many residents of Hadera spent the night without electricity after high winds, heavy rains and flooding.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 9, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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