Daily Israel Report

18,000 Homes in Israel Still Without Power

IEC says 18,000 households remain without power as of Saturday night, including 9,000 customers in Jerusalem.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/15/2013, 1:23 AM

18,000 households in Israel remain without electricity as of 1:00 a.m. Saturday night, the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) said.

Of these, about 9,000 customers are in Jerusalem, 9,000 are in Judea and Samaria, 1,000 customers are in northern Israel, and an additional 1,000 customers are in various other regions in the country.

The IEC indicated that the company's Jerusalem District will be reinforced by employees from other districts in order to fix the electricity problems in the area as quickly as possible.

The company further said that there is an accessibility problem in the streets of many neighborhoods in the capital, and employees cannot currently enter these areas and fix problems as there are many stuck cars and trees that have collapsed blocking the roads, a fact which significantly delays the work to restore power to residents.

Bus traffic to and from Jerusalem, as well as inside it, resumed Saturday evening but was halted again, because of slippery road conditions.

The last train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was scheduled to depart at 10:30 p.m. The last train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv was scheduled to leave the Malha station at 11:30 p.m. Train service from Jerusalem to Haifa will resume at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning and a train will depart every hour until 9:30 a.m.

A free shuttle service will take passengers from the Central Bus Station to the Malha train station.

The entrances and exits to and from Jerusalem will remain closed to private traffic until at least Sunday morning. Public transportation will be allowed to use Highway 1, while the abandoned vehicles that have been blocking traffic in that thoroughfare as well as Highway 443 are being cleared.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised first responders, the IEC and government bodies on Saturday for the way they have been functioning in the heavy snow storm of the last four days. Netanyahu credited the emergency teams with saving many lives.

"Saving human lives was our first and top priority,” he stressed, at a public briefing in the emergency headquarters where rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts are being coordinated. “There was no home in Israel that we needed to reach and failed to reach.”