More rain spurs new flood warnings

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The state agency in charge of Norwegian waterways, NVE, has issued another round of flood warnings after more heavy rain poured down over much of southern Norway during the weekend. Even more is expected and already is causing problems in eight counties.

Torrential rain during the night is being blamed for washing out the ground under railroad tracks in eastern Hedmark Country, which in turn led to the derailment of a passenger train early Monday morning. There were no deaths, but seven persons were injured and sent to hospital and the train line, Rørosbanen, is closed.

Several roads in Hedmark were already flooded on Monday, even before what meteorologists say are the remnants of Hurricane Irene, which hit the US late last week, arrived over southeastern Norway (Østlandet). Low-pressure systems full of rain are literally lined up as they approach the southern part of the country.

Water rising
NVE warns that water levels will continue to rise in most all waterways in Østlandet. The most rain on Monday was predicted to fall east of Oslo and Lake Mjøsa. It would let up a bit on Tuesday, but on Tuesday afternoon, more heavy rain was expected.

The next storm was due to move in over the Agder counties, then move north and drench already saturated counties like Agder, Telemark, Buskerud, Akershus, Hedmark, Oppland, Oslo and Østfold.

Emergency crews were advising residents to remove any valuable items from cellars that are likely to be flooded. Travel advisories were up and crews from state railway NSB and railroad Jernbaneverket were launching renewed inspections of train lines, in the hopes of preventing further accidents that could be caused by landslides and flooding.

Country ‘split in two’
Western Norway was also getting hit hard by heavy rain. “It will shift between rain and showers over Vestlandet, for as long as our forecasts can reach,” state meteorologist in Bergen, Marian Foss, told NRK.

Southern Norway has already had its wettest summer in 111 years. In northern Norway, however, the sun was shining in many places and residents were enjoying a spate of unusually warm temperatures. One meteorologist said the country “was split in two” regarding the weather, with the northern counties of Troms and Finnmark enjoying what forecaster Trond Lien in Tromsø called “a fine start to the autumn” while southern Norway was getting drenched.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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