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Buses to Capital and Inside It – to Halt Again

Because of icy roads, bus traffic on Highway 1 has been halted, and buses inside Jerusalem will stop. Drivers asked to avoid all roads.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/15/2013, 8:03 PM

Eged Bus in Snow Covered Jerusalem
Eged Bus in Snow Covered Jerusalem
Flash 90

Bus service to and from Jerusalem on Highway 1 was halted Sunday evening, and public transport inside Jerusalem will be halted later in the evening, IDF Radio reported. The reason for the decision is ice that has built up on the roads, which is causing the buses to skid dangerously.

Public transport to Jerusalem and inside it was restarted Sunday after three days in which it had ceased due to snowed-in roads.

A new situation assessment will be carried out Monday morning.

There were serious problems with railroad service Sunday evening, as well, after a section of the rail between Tel Aviv and Lod was flooded by water from the Shapirim River. Some of the trains were canceled and others were full beyond capacity.

Transport Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud / Beytenu) warned drivers to stay away from the roads Sunday night. “Avoid driving on Israel's roads tonight,” the minister said. “Because of the clearing of the sky and the plummeting temperatures, the roads are expected to be more dangerous than ever tonight. The layer of ice that will coat the roads could cause skidding. This is a real mortal danger. Drives that are not necessary should be canceled and if you must drive – please be extra careful.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday at a situation assessment with the Jerusalem District Police that “the peak of the storm is behind us, but many missions still await us.”

"The state of Israel is dealing well with this great storm,” he maintained. “In addition, compared to other countries in the world that experienced harsh storms this year, we operated better.”

The IDF and regional rescue units have extricated more han 1,000 residents of isolated communities in Judea and Samaria that had no electricity for three straight days. 

Northern Israel was badly hit by the storm, and in the Marom Hagalil Regional Council, which includes towns such as Meron, Avivim, Biria, Amuka, and others in the northern Galilee near the Lebanese border, the power has been out since last Thursday – in every single town, except for one.

14,000 Homes Still without Power

The Israel Electric Company (IEC) announced Sunday evening that it has cut down the number of homes that have not yet been reconnected to electricity following the weekend snowstorm.

About 14,000 households are now disconnected from electricity – 6,000 of them in Jerusalem. This is about half of the number of homes that had no power on Saturday.

The IEC noted that there are intensive efforts to bring power back to the communities around Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, as well as to neighborhoods in Tzfat. “The company is operating in emergency mode,” the IEC said. “It will take a long time to fix the malfunctions.”

"The Electric Company continues to work with augmented forces to bring electricity back to all of the country's residents,” the company announcement continued. “Work crews are spread out countrywide, with an emphasis on the area around Jerusalem and on Tzfat.”