Flood warnings posted all over

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The weather forecast wasn’t very good as Norwegians looked forward to their last official three-day weekend until Christmas. State officials warned of floods over large portions of the country as heavy rains were due to keep pouring down.

After lots of sunshine last weekend, the heavy dark clouds of the past few days looked set to keep piling up over both southern and northern Norway. “Lots of rain has led to fast snow melt in northern Norway and parts of western Norway,” Erik Holmquist of Norges Vassdrags- og Energidirektorat (NVE – Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate) told weather service yr.no. “In southern Norway, we’re expecting a lot of rain over the next few days.”

Only parts of Trøndelag were likely to avoid the deluge, Holmquist said, while rain was expected through Saturday most everywhere else.

Several areas in Oslo and southeastern Norway already were flooded after torrential rain Tuesday morning. In downtown areas of the capital, two major thoroughfares (Møller Gate and Maridalsveien) were temporarily closed. On Thursday, NVE was sending out warnings that several rivers could spill over their banks, especially in the mountain valley of Gudbrandsdal.

“It’s important that people secure items around their homes,” Holmquist said. Anyone out camping should also be careful, and trailers and camping vans should also be parked away from lakes and rivers to avoid being swept away.

NVE’s own website was covered with flood warnings, for mountain valleys in southern Norway, for northern Norway and for the counties of Telemark, Buskerud, Vestfold, Akershus, Oslo and Østfold. Heavy rains can quickly raise water levels in small creeks and rivers, NVE warned.

The sun was predicted to come out again on Sunday and Monday in the Oslo area, brightening the forecast for the pinse (Whitsund) weekend. More rain was due on Tuesday.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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