Storms keep mountain roads closed

Only two highways over the mountains of Southern Norway were open on Friday because of ongoing blizzards, strong winds and such poor visibility that road crews can’t keep them cleared. Motorists remained stuck and those planning weekend trips were urged to drop them.

Only the E16 highway over Filefjell and the RV52 over Hemsedalsfjellet were open for relatively normal traffic, but warnings were up that it may be restricted to escorted convoy driving at any time.

The stormy weather has caused traffic trouble in Southern Norway all week long, and greatly disrupted both passenger and cargo traffic between Oslo and the West Coast cities of Bergen, Ålesund and Haugesund. Stavanger has remained accessible via the E18 and E39 highways along the coast, but that can take a lot longer than driving over the mountains.

Jan Marøy of Vegtrafikksentralen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the worst problem is the wind. “I’ve been told it can get even worse during the course of the day, so prospects for any roads reopening are not promising,” he told NRK. While the weekend weather forecasts included mostly clear skies and sunshine east of the mountains, storms were still slamming into the West Coast. They may let up a bit on Saturday, but more snow and sleet was expected on Sunday.

newsinenglish.no staff