Jerusalem prepares for snow storm

Municipal snow headquarters opens on Wednesday, preparing for at least 5 cm of snow overnight.

jerusalem snow 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
jerusalem snow 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For the first time this winter, the Jerusalem Municipality prepared the city for snow, with the possibility of at least five centimeters falling by this morning. The municipal snow headquarters in Safra Square opened Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. It opens "every time there is a real possibility for snow," explained municipality spokesman Raffi Shamir. "It hasn't been open yet this year, because until now there has been no real chance for snow of Jerusalem." The headquarters brings together representatives of the Fire and Rescue Services, police and other municipal departments. "Snow plows, tractors, salt for the roads have already been prepared should there arise a need to use them," Shamir said. "We will be ready to keep the roads open, especially to the hospital and larger neighborhoods." Mayor Uri Lupolianski and other municipal officials toured the city Tuesday afternoon to determine its preparedness for the anticipated storm. Ronen Bashari, manager of the Jerusalem region of Magen David Adom, prepared his team in advance. MDA is involved with the snow headquarters and is in close contact with the city's police and fire service. "We have doubled our teams in Jerusalem. In the evening, there will be 10 regular teams - usually we have five - and at night there will be six," he said. MDA cut down response times by dispersing its vehicles throughout various neighborhoods. "The city's aim is to make sure no one will have to spend the night on the street without shelter," Shamir said. The city's welfare department said it would send a team to find homeless people and put them up in shelters and hotels. If enough snow sticks to the ground, the municipality will host a snowman contest. For information regarding school closures, road conditions or snow activities, the public may call the municipal hot line, 106. The last snow storm to hit Jerusalem was on February 14-15, 2004.