Flooding closes roads and halts trains

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UPDATED: Police and transportation officials were urging motorists not to drive on Saturday after torrential rains over wide areas of southeastern Norway led to flooding and closed roads. Both the E6 and E18 highways south and west of Oslo respectively were closed around 1pm. Train travel was also disrupted in the Oslo area, which was among the regions hit hard by the downpour that also caused problems in Buskerud, Østfold and Akershus counties.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that several underpasses in Asker og Bærum were closed including Sandviksveien under the main E18 motorway at Kadettangen in Sandvika. The underpass at Hvalstad station was also closed, along with several roads in Heggedal and Lier. The E18 closed for around an hour at Maritim/Framnes, just west of downtown. The E6 closed south of Oslo and police were leading stranded motorists back to the Lambertseter area.

The suburban area of Bekkestua in Bærum was also flooded in some areas and emergency crews with pumps were called out to deal with flooded cellars in Akershus and Buskerud.

The unusually heavy rains were accompanied by thunder and lightning. Police in Buskerud reported that highway RV285 at Sylling in Lier was obstructed by masses of water, mud and rocks.

The road emergency division was so busy fielding calls for help that NRK reported dispatchers had no time to talk. “All I can say is that there are huge amounts of water many places,” duty officer told NRK, adding only that it was “worst in Sylling and Røyken in Buskerud.”

Train service was also disrupted after lightning caused the signal system to malfunction between Sandvika and Asker. Trains on the Spikkestad line that runs between Oslo and Asker were also halted because of flooding at Gullhella. Trains to Drammen were also disrupted, with the lines between Sandvika and Asker closed.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

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