Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat inspects salt truck 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
As the rest of the country dealt with a deluge of rain that shut down major
arteries and turned highways into raging rivers, Jerusalem prepared for the
possibility of snow starting late Tuesday night and continuing
On Tuesday, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat made his annual visit
to the municipality sanitation headquarters in the Givat Shaul neighborhood in
order to check up on the city’s readiness for clearing the roadways of snow.
Approximately 100 vehicles, including tractors, are ready to clear the roads in
case snow falls on the capital and surrounding regions.
that forecasts have the snow lasting all day Wednesday and into Thursday, and
requested that residents avoid any non-essential travel and visitors wait to
come to Jerusalem until the snow has stopped falling.
“Snow requires a
lot of personal responsibility,” he said.
“We’re doing everything
possible to allow us to enjoy the snow on the one hand, while dealing with the
challenges of removing the snow on the other hand.”
Barkat said that the
city had offered temporary shelter to all homeless people and the social
services believed all homeless people in Jerusalem had been matched with some
solution for the coming days.
The municipality, police, Transportation
Ministry, firefighters and paramedics will all decide whether to declare a snow
emergency in the capital on Wednesday. If they declare an emergency, it could
temporarily stop up to 69 bus lines. The light rail, which was built to operate
in the snow, will run without any changes.
The city decided Wednesday morning to open schools as per usual in the morning, but to send students home early at noon.
The capital has not experienced a substantial
snowfall in the past four years. The mayor said he was “wishing, hoping and
expecting snow, along with all of the children of Jerusalem,” adding that his
favorite snow activity in Jerusalem is snowball fights with his family.