Report: Food Running Out in Jerusalem

Hysteria over snow out of control in Jerusalem, as residents raid supermarkets ahead of storm.

Tova Dvorin, | updated: 10:11


Jerusalem is running out of staples, local leaders told Walla! News Tuesday, with residents stocking up on basic food items before supermarkets can restock. 

"Mineral water ran out at noon and fresh meat a few hours later [Monday]," Ronen Bar-Yair, a leader of the Pisgat Ze'ev community council, told the daily. "People feel pressure not to see a repeat of last year's snowstorm and are not taking any chances. There is also a shortage on hot foods, electrical appliances, heaters, hot water bottles, and the like." 

Jerusalem residents are mostly stocking up on the basics, however - including flour, sugar, oil, mineral water, canned fish and vegetables, and dairy products ahead of the projected storm. In addition, there was increase in purchases of bread, poultry, fresh and frozen meat, snacks, pastries and beans.

Grocery chains confirmed that there is large-scale increase in activity over the past several days. Shufersal has seen a distinct upswing in customers in Jerusalem and Tzfat (Safed); Rami Levy has seen more customers than usual shopping in the capital and in the Gush Etzion region.

"We are talking about a 2.5-fold increase from the normal weekday average," Rami Levy stated. "Poultry and bread are completely out of stock."

"People buy everything, but mostly meat, baby products and drinks, especially bottled water," he added."They are afraid to get stuck without food on Shabbat and purchase enough food to last until Sunday."

Levy added that the public should not be concerned, however, as the discount grocery chain will remain open nationwide during the storm.

The heavy cold front closing in on Israel is expected to hit full force starting late Tuesday, with deep snows anticipated to settle in on various parts of the country - including Jerusalem - as the week proceeds.

Hysteria over the storm follows record snows during the winter of 2013 which left millions without power throughout the north and center of the country and floods wreaking havoc on coastal and western cities. 

Ahead of the storm, the Jerusalem municipality has taken drastic measures to anticipate problems, with a platoon of 150 plows brought into the city, talk of closing roads in and out of the city from Tuesday evening until as far as Saturday to prevent congestion, and public transport and schools being ground to a halt until the storm passes.