Flood warnings posted as snow starts melting

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Record amounts of snow in the mountains of southern Norway have finally begun to melt, but state authorities are hoping the melting will go slowly. Otherwise they fear more major flooding in the valleys below.

“Our worst fear is a combination of high temperatures, rain and wind,” Leif Johnny Bogetveit, a hydrologist with the state waterways authority NVE (Norges vassdrags- og energidirektorat),  told TV2. NVE has asked power producers to lower the water levels in their largest reservoirs in western Norway, to make room for more later on.

The full reservoirs suggest electricity rates will remain low, since they’ll quickly fill up again. In the 57 years that NVE started registering snow depths in the mountains, they’ve never measured as much as now. The extreme amounts of snow are a result of heavy snowfall last winter, a late and cold spring and more snow as late as early June.

For the national trekking association DNT (Den norske Turistforening) the snow threatens to delay the summer opening of some of its lodges. At Stranddalshytta in the mountains of Ryfylke, western Norway, there’s still as much snow as there was at Easter, and only parts of the roof have emerged under the drifts.

“It’s still cold at night so the snow isn’t melting like normal,” Preben Falch of DNT’s Stavanger chapter told state broadcaster NRK. He expects summer holidaymakers will be able to skiing instead of hiking.

newsinenglish.no staff