King to visit flooded areas

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King Harald was planning to visit several areas hit by flooding during the past week, as residents still tried to come to grips with massive destruction. The train line through Gudbrandsdalen re-opened, but more rain caused new worries.

King Harald was planning to visit flood victims over the weekend, like he also did after flooding in 1995. PHOTO: Views and News

It was raining again over much of southern Norway on Friday after a brief respite on Wednesday and Thursday. That caused concerns that the rain, due to continue through the weekend, would make a bad flooding situation even worse.

The heaviest rains, though, were predicted for Friday, with the weather easing up a bit on Saturday and Sunday. Sunnier skies were expected only north of Dombås at the northern end of Gudbrandsdalen, which was among the areas worst-hit by the flooding of the past week.

King Harald planned to visit Sel, Stor-Elvdal and Eidsvoll on Saturday. The mayor of Sel was ready to receive the Norwegian monarch, “but the most important is for the king to meet the people,” Ivar Ødegaard of the country administrator’s office in Oppland told website

As many mopped up from the flooding and were visited by insurance agents, state railroad Jernbaneverket could report that the main train line through Gudbrandsdalen, Dovrebanen, was reopening. The line was forced to close because of severe flooding on the tracks between Lillehammer and Dombås.

Railroad crews have scrambled to repair the damage and trains will need to proceed at reduced speed, but at least passengers won’t have to transfer over to bus service along the route. Delays were expected for the 12 passenger trains plus cargo trains that operate on the route every day.

Views and News staff