New Power Failures Infuriate Israeli Mayors

YERUSHALAYIM -

The mayors of Netanya and Ra’anana sent an angry letter to senior Israeli officials on Wednesday demanding an investigation into the power failures which have plagued their cities and others since a storm hit on Sunday.

No sooner had the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) announced that power had been restored to all of the tens of thousands of homeowners who had lost power earlier in the week, than more heavy rains fell, causing flooding and electricity outages for some 15,000 homes.

That number was down to 5,000 by evening, but it was too late to assuage the gathering fury of Mayors Ze’ev Bielski and Yehuda Ben-Hamo, of Netanya and Ra’anana.

They sent off a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and State Comptroller Joseph Shapira, calling it a “serious scandal” that requires a formal inquiry.

“It cannot be that in an extreme weather situation Israel transforms into a third-world country,” they wrote.

According to the Israel Meteorological Service, the rain will likely continue until Thursday evening, with flood warnings on from the North to the Negev.