Hurricane warnings posted along coast

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Yet another extreme weather system, this one called ‘Tor,’ was moving in on Norway just before the weekend, with the worst weather expected to crash into the west coast from Bergen north towards Trondheim. Waves as high as 20 meters (more than 60 feet) were feared to roll in from Friday evening.

“People must absolutely not go anywhere near the shore on Friday, absolutely not!” meteorologist Arnstein Tjøstheim of the weather service Værvarsling på Vestlandet told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “This is seldom and quite extreme weather, with such high waves heading into land.”

‘Listen to the warnings’
The top county official for Hordaland, Fylkesmannen Lars Sponheim, asked residents to follow all advice being sent out by the police, the weather service and local townships.

“It is of critical importance that folks listen to the warnings,” stated Sponheim. “We strongly urge residents to remain indoors, because the winds can send even large objects flying through the air. It can be dangerous to venture outdoors.”

Tjøstheim told NRK Thursday night that the low pressure system was expected to hit hardest further north than expected, probably somewhere along the coast of Sogn og Fjordane (just north of Hordaland County). That means the area north of Bergen and through the county of Møre og Romsdal will bear the brunt of the storm, along with wide portions of the Trøndelag coast.

“It looks like Hordaland will get off a bit easier than first thought,” Tjøstheim said.

‘Cancel travel plans’
Håvard Stensvand, preparedness chief for the county of Sogn og Fjordane, suggested that anyone planning to travel along the west coast on Friday and Saturday should cancel and remain where they are. “Folks really should re-evaluate any plans,” Stensvand said. “Experience shows that the strong winds will cause the worst problems for both communications and transport, so staying put is our best advice.”

A recent sudden rise in temperatures has also increased the danger of avalanches in steep areas, and the winds from Tor only raise that threat. The storm was also expected to hit wide areas of southern Norway as well.

Stensvand said all electricity providers had been warned, and were in a high state of preparedness, but power outages were expected. He urged residents to be prepared for a loss of electricity for possibly lengthy periods, if the storm tears down power lines and crews can’t get out to repair them.

Residents were also advised to take in all outdoor furniture and other loose items and move their hourse trailers and camping vans into protected areas. Berglund