During the recent winter storm that hit Israel, tens of thousands of families went without electricity for several days – because of the many power lines that were downed by either the high winds or the weight of the snow that piled on them.
The Israel Electric Company worked 24 hours a day for nearly a week to get everyone reconnected to the electrical grid – and now the bill for those repair is coming due. According to IEC chairman Eli Glickman, the damage to Israel's electrical system was some one billion shekels.
Glickman made the statement to MKs of the Knesset Economics Committee. Glickman was asked what his response was to those who criticized the IEC for how it handled the storm. He said that he felt the company's response had been exceptional, as efficient as an army unit. While the size and scope of the storm was far more than anyone had expected or predicted, Glickman said that it was exceptional that many who had lost power on the first day of the storm got it back the next day was due to the army-like discipline of workers.
Glickman was also asked about the IEC's switchboard, which fell a number of times due to the heavy volume of calls. Glickman said that the company had received some 60,000 calls at a time during the heaviest periods of the storm, and that no answering system anywhere could stand up to that volume of calls.