Holocaust survivors lose electricity in winter storm

Mt. Hermon receives 10cm of snow as harsh winds fell trees around the country.

Chana Roberts,

Tomer Naumberg, Flash 90

Israel's second winter storm in a month brought rain to most areas of the country, felled trees, and caused electricity failures.

Trees fell in the central cities of Elad, Bnei Brak, Petah Tikva, and Rehovot, as well as in the northern cities of Beit Shean, Netanya, and Even Yehuda.

Several areas lost electricity Thursday night when Israel was hit with its second winter storm in a month: According to a Ynet report, a tree falling in the Hadar neighborhood in Haifa caused an electric cut in tens of apartments. A hostel housing 70 Holocaust survivors was also cut off from electricity.

In addition, electrical failures were reported in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Rehovot, and Rishon Lezion during the night. Israel Electric Corporation reported that electrical failures in areas along the coastline in the Sharon region would be more difficult to repair, due to the strong winds.

In southern Israel, high concentrations of particles were measured due to the winds bringing dust from north Africa towards Israel. The winds also caused sandstorms in the Negev region. Overnight, the dust storm receded in all areas except for the Arava and southern Negev, where rain is not expected and where air pollution is expected to remain high throughout Friday.

Wind gusts in the northern city of Tzfat measured up to 130 kilometers per hour (80.8 miles per hour). Gusts in Tel Aviv measured up to 115 kilometers per hour (71.5 mph), and at Haifa University measured 113 kilometers (70.2 miles) per hour.

Ten centimeters (3.9 inches) of snow fell on Mount Hermon's lower slopes, and fifteen centimeters (5.9 inches) fell on its upper slopes. The site will be closed on Friday, and strong gusts of wind will continue blowing.

In northern Israel, two roads became impassable: Israel's southbound Highway 2 (the "Coastal Road") was closed at the Yanay Interchange due to mud and flowing water blocking the road. In addition, Route 977 was closed to traffic between the Gome Junction and Neot Mordechai after a tree fell on the road.

Schools in the Golan Heights and Galilee will be open as usual on Friday, despite the stormy weather.

Rain will fall intermittently throughout Friday, and there will be thunderstorms from northern Israel to the northern Negev. The rain will lighten towards afternoon and possibly cease towards evening. There may be flooding in southern and eastern Israel during the morning hours, and throughout the day temperatures will remain lower than seasonal average.

Saturday will be partly cloudy, with temperatures rising to seasonal average.

Sunday will be partly cloudy, and temperatures will rise again to higher than seasonal average. Strong eastern winds will blow in the northern mountains.

Monday will be pleasant or partly cloudy, with a drop in temperatures. Winds will pick up gradually throughout the day, and southern Israel may experience a dust storm. Local rains may fall in northern Israel and along the coastline.