Strong winds, snow closed key mountain highways

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State highway officials were forced to close some key highways over the mountains of Southern Norway on Sunday, and two of them remained closed on Monday. That disrupted traffic for thousands of Norwegians trying to get home after a week of winter holiday when schools were closed.

The highways over Haukelifjell (E134) and Hardangervidda (RV7) were still closed Monday morning, while some other routes like the main E16 highway over Filefjell and Highway 13 over Vikafjellet were open. RV52 over Hemsedalsfjellet also reopened but was subject to restrictions including convoy driving, while the County Road 60 between Hol and Aurland reopened as well.

Norway’s state meteorologic institute had sent out warnings during the weekend of storms in the mountains, especially in Telemark and the Agder counties. After months of sparse snowfall, as many as 60 centimeters were expected by Monday, while strong winds made driving impossible and dangerous for many vehicles including trucks.

The sudden snowstorm also caused traffic challenges along Norway’s southern coast. In the summer holiday destination of Arendal, for example, around 10 centimeters of snow fell during the night on Saturday. Grimstad and Larvik were also hit with heavy snowfall but skies were due to clear early this week.

newsinenglish.no staff