Skies cleared after violent storms

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The extreme weather system dubbed “Ylva” was finally subsiding on Friday after two days of strong winds, rain and blizzards that started in the south and then raged northwards. Nordland and Troms could start cleaning up while Finnmark continued to be battered.

Skies were clearing over Troms County, offering this view from one of the University of Tromsø’s web cameras early Friday afternoon. PHOTO: UiT/Tromsø kommune

Thousands of residents lost electricity but state waterways and energy directorate NVE reported that many had their power restored late Thursday. Around 2,400 remained without power in Nordland and Troms during the night, even though NVE reported that restoration efforts were being carried out at “full force where possible.” Some of the work to repair power lines cut by fallen trees had to wait until Friday.

Efforts were also being made to reopen roads blocked by heavy snowfall, fallen trees or landslides. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the main E6 highway closed at Dunderlandsdalen in Rana, however, after two large trucks collided head-on while driving on slick roads. One of the drivers was so badly injured that he had to be airlifted to hospital in Mo for emergency treatment and then was due to be flown for more extensive treatment at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim.

Train lines shut, too
The Nordlandsbanen train line was also closed between Bolna and Løndalen on Friday after the stormy weather damaged a structure meant to keep the tracks free of snow. “We have to examine the overhang before we can allow trains through it,” Tim Petter Høgset of railroad agency BaneNor told NRK.

The Ofotbanen train line was also closed because of problems with its electric power supply. The E10 highway over Bjørnfjell was closed until the road could be cleared of snow and debris from the extreme weather in the area on Thursday.

Damage estimates remained unavailable, but Ylva ripped roofs off homes and buildings and toppled barns. Several boats were jarred loose from their moorings along the coast, most recently in Hammerfest, where one boat was blown onto the beach at Leirvika.

Remnants of Ylva sweeping over Finnmark
Finnmark was the last to be hammered by the remnants of Ylva on Friday. Wind speeds were dying down and Ylva was downgraded to “phase D” by midday, but the weather remained stormy. Residents were still urged to remain indoors if they could. Winds were expected up to 30 meters per second and more snow was forecast, “so it can still make driving hazardous through the day,” state meteorologist Therese Pedersen told NRK.

The storm disrupted transport all over the country, forcing ferries out of service and cancelling or severely delaying flights including many through OSL Gardermoen earlier in the week. The storm was blamed on a low pressure system that moved in from the west over the Norwegian Sea, while a high pressure system lay over the Kola Peninsula to the east. “These two weather systems butted into each other, and because of the difference in pressure, it stirred up the strong winds,” Pedersen explained.

The high pressure system disappeared eastover on Friday and the weather in Northern Norway was due to improve.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund