Preemptive measures are underway across Jerusalem as the capital prepares to cope with the expected snowstorm in the coming week.
The city will see the deployment of 100 plowing vehicles while roads will be covered with up to 400 tons of salt. Additionally, the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat informed the public that for the first time, ten 4×4 vehicles equipped to clear roads will be provided in order to avoid disruption to light rail transportation which is able to function regularly in up to 5cm of snow.
Indeed, the hazardous weather conditions have already caused a number of disruptions forcing authorities to block roads and causing a number of road accidents across Israel. On Sunday, January 24, Yishai Ben-Avoh, a 25-year-old soldier was pronounced dead after his car overturned on Route 60 connecting southern and northern Israel.
Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem and Har Hatzofim are also taking measures designed to ensure that hospital activity is not disrupted by the expected snowstorm.
Oren Levi, assistant manager at Hadassah Medical Center told the public that the hospitals will be sufficiently prepared to treat anybody who falls ill due to low temperatures which are expected to drop to minus 3 degrees Celsius overnight .
Levi said that Hadassah will be stocking up on vital supplies such as medical equipment, food, clean laundry and fuel for generators. He also said that following a meeting with the Jerusalem Municipality and the police, routes to the hospitals will remain clear.
“If we reach a situation in which there are piles of of snow, anybody who needs to reach the hospital will be able to do so.”
“Last year medical teams in Har Hatzofim and Hadassah Ein Kerem did everything possible in order to tend to people who had fallen sick and to ensure that the activities of the hospitals continued,” Levi said.
Professor Drorit Hochner of Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital said that despite the possible delays caused by the snow, pregnant women should take no chances and should make their way to the hospital should they feel any need to do so.
“Pregnant women can feel relaxed and secure that their arrival to hospitals will be possible at all hours. I recommend that they pay attention to even the early signs of possible childbirth and head to the hospital. There is no need for hysteria despite the delays which may be caused on the road if the snow piles up. They can remain relaxed,” she said.