JERUSALEM (Jan. 6)
Israeli immigrants living in temporary housing units may have actually fared better than the tens of thousands of veteran Israelis whose homes were pounded by last week’s torrential rains and blizzard.
None of the 9,000 mobile homes for immigrants managed by the huge Amidar housing corporation was damaged by the storm, according to company spokeswoman Rachel Primor.
“The caravans demonstrated 100 percent stamina under maximum weather battle conditions,” she said.
Only 55 Soviet families had to be vacated from their mobile homes in the Sirkin community, near Petach Tikva, for fear of flooding from a nearby creek. But they were allowed to return within a day, as soon as the flood danger had subsided.
A total of 115 complaints of dampness, caused by leaking roofs, were reported.
And while residents of Jerusalem endured three days without electricity, immigrants living in mobile units faced only a few brief cuts in power. All caravan sites are established on open ground away from falling trees, and many are equipped with supplementary electricity generators.
No serious damage was reported to Jewish Agency-operated immigrant absorption centers.
Protracted power failures were reported only in Jerusalem, where new immigrants in the Mevasseret Zion center were without electricity and central heating for three days, along with an estimated 200,000 residents of the capital.
The country is girding itself for a repeat blizzard, forecast for mid-January.