Storms batter northern Norway

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Central and northern Norway are being hit hard this week by storms and floods that have cancelled flights, closed roads and halted train traffic. It took 41 hours for passengers on one flight from Oslo to finally reach their destination in the northern city of Alta.

The bad weather is also wreaking havoc for already-beleaguered state railway NSB. A sudden rise in temperatures melted snow in several areas of Trøndelag that then froze again to ice on the tracks. That forced state railroad Jernbaneverket to close the line in two places near Hegra Festning.

State authorities were also warning of floods throughout Trøndelag, because of melting snow and heavy rain. Avalanche warnings were also posted.

The Nordlandsbane train was also halted by a snow and rock slide in Lurudalen, between Grong and Snåsa. The line was closed between Mosjøen and Trofors in Nordland County on Thursday afternoon.

State meteorologists told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that a low-pressure system over the Barents Sea was stirring up strong northwesterly winds that brought with them a new phase of cold weather. “There will mostly be sub-freezing temperatures over the whole country next week,” meteorologist Bjart Eriksen told NRK.

Passengers on board an SAS flight from Oslo to Alta finally reached their destination after storms made landing at Alta impossible. They were diverted numerous times, even to Kiruna in Sweden, but ultimately had to head to Bodø where there was enough hotel space for all passengers on board. New attempts to reach Alta the next day also ended in more diversions before they could finally land, 41 hours after leaving Oslo.

The Oslo area, meanwhile, was expecting some blue skies, sunshine and relatively mild temperatures over the weekend, good news for arrangers of the World Championship preliminaries being held at the new Holmenkollen Ski Jump.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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