JERUSALEM, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Thousands of motorists were stranded and roads to Jerusalem were closed Friday as a winter storm dropped snow for a second day on the region, officials said.
By the afternoon Friday, some roads leading from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv had reopened as police and troops using snow plows worked to clear the stranded vehicles, the Jerusalem Post reported. Roads leading into Jerusalem were closed.
Stranded drivers were taken to an emergency shelter at the Jerusalem Convention Center and the Ofer military camp. At least 2,000 motorists were stuck on roadways leading to Jerusalem after up to 10 inches of snow fell.
"We are currently using all means available to save the people stuck in the storm. Only after the weather calms will we be able to open all of the roadways in the city," said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, adding that the city was facing "a battle against a rare storm, the likes of which we have never seen."
The heavy snow accumulation lead to the closure of Gurion International Airport for about an hour, the newspaper said.
Heavy precipitation in Tel Aviv lead to the closure of the Ayalon Highway as the Ayalon stream came to within three feet of spilling onto the road.
City officials instructed residents to stay off the roads until the winter storm had passed, the Post reported.