West Coast gets clobbered again

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Another severe winter storm blew in over Norway’s southwest coast Sunday, with powerful winds knocking down trees and even tearing the roofs off buildings. Several hundred households were without power Sunday night, ferries had to cancel their service and another train got stuck between Stavanger and Egersund.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported late Sunday that around 200 passengers had to be evacuated from three separate trains on the Jærbane line after all traffic on the line was halted by the storm. The wind wreaked havoc with the powerlines over the trains, meaning the trains themselves couldn’t get enough power to run.

The storm already had been closing roads and mountain highways earlier in the day, causing problems for holiday travelers.

Henning Lode of state railroad Jernbaneverket reported there also was a technical problem with the lines between Bryne and Klepp. The harsh weather was making evacuation difficult. Those who made it to the Klepp station were waiting for bus service, but it was also considered dangerous to drive a bus in the storm.

Rogaland and Hardanger hit hard
Rogaland County and the Hardanger area of Hordaland County were among the areas hardest hit. “We’ve had a lot of reports that it’s blowing really hard around the Hardanger Fjord,” Morten Kronen of the Hordaland Police District told NRK. There were no reports of injuries, but police were urging residents to stay indoors.

The storm was also causing more damage than one that hit the area just a week ago. NRK reported that a community center at Sæbøvik in Kvinnherad, a Statoil gasoline station at Jørpeland in Strand  and a woodshed in Kvam were among the buildings losing their roofs or parts of them. There was also structural damage in Tau, and some cars were damaged by flying objects.

Fallen power lines, or those pulled down by toppled trees, left thousands of persons without power in several areas south and east of Stavanger including Sola, Årdal and Oltedal. Emergency crews scrambled to repair the damage but were hindered by the high winds that made the work dangerous.

State meteorologists predicted the storm would die down during the night, with calmer weather due later in the week.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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