Sunday, December 15, 2013
A couple feet of the white stuff
Yeah, I'm sure those of you from upstate New York, Canada, North Dakota and Minnesota are looking at that title and going, "So? That's most days here in the winter!".
The problem is that the unlike places such as those I just mentioned, on the one or two times per year when Israel gets a decent amount of snow, we are faced with certain, um, limitations:
- There are only a handful of snow plows, so it takes a long time to dig out.
- The electrical infrastructure is not designed to withstand snow.
- Israelis get so little opportunity to practice driving in snow that they are essentially clueless.
The result is that once an inch or two accumulates, the army just closes all the roads.
The snow started falling on Wednesday night, and by Thursday morning was deep enough to bring down trees (and power lines), block roads and bring the affected areas to a standstill.
There were long periods where we lost power (did I mention we heat with electricity), but for most of this long weekend we were relatively well off.
The same can't be said of the tens of thousands of households that lost power early and still aren't back online. It isn't for lack of trying, mind you. It's just that the Israel Electrical repair crews can't always reach the damaged areas of their infrastructure without help from the army.
There have been some truly inspiring stories of rescues (army helicopter airlifting a woman in labor to the hospital for a problematic delivery), hospitality (strangers hosting stranded drivers who walked in off the main roads after abandoning their vehicles) and people sharing whatever they have with those who were without.
Ariella and Gilad were both supposed to be away for Shabbat, but one serendipitious aspect of the storm was that we had our entire family here with us.
We have, or more correctly had, three very tall poplar trees out in our front yard. They offered shade in the summer and privacy year round. Two of them snapped in half under the weight of the snow. The jury is still out on whether the third one will spring back from being bent over nearly double.
Anyway, the main roads are still closed, and probably will remain closed until later this afternoon. So for the time being we're shoveling, chipping ice, sawing the downed trees and dragging them out to the curb.
Here are a few pics:
Gilad and a friend.
Ariella early in the storm
Posted by David Bogner on December 15, 2013 | Permalink
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So sad about your trees... but glad you got the privilege of hanging out with your growing children. Snow days with family can be so special!
Posted by: rutimizrachi | Dec 15, 2013 5:29:18 PM
Our poplar lost all of its lower branches. :(
Posted by: Shari | Dec 16, 2013 8:28:20 AM
Stay safe and enjoy your beautiful family.
Oh, and please tell me that at least one other rapidly-aging nerd read the title of your post and immediately broke into Weird Al Yankovic's "The White Stuff." Please?
Posted by: efrex | Dec 16, 2013 4:12:51 PM
Have yet to contact my cousin who lives near you. She grew up in No. California,but spent a few years in Rochester.NY to prepare her for Israeli winters. Stay safe and warm.
Posted by: Ed | Dec 17, 2013 4:37:41 AM