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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Surprise flooding hit Troms hard

Residents of Troms County in northern Norway were mopping up on Monday after surprise flooding washed out roads, threatened bridges and forced evacuation of several homes. Twice as much rain fell over the weekend than what state meteorologists had predicted.

Hardest hit was Målselv township, where Mayor Helen Rognli reported “formidable” damage. “We have a major challenge ahead of us,” she told news bureau NTB. “Homes were flooded, farmers lost their crops, and roads and bridges are destroyed.”

She said that small creeks suddenly turned into roaring rivers. The valley of Kirkesdalen was isolated when all roads in and out were under water.

The communities of Bardu, Storfjord and Balsfjord were also flooded. No one was injured in the sudden downpour “and that’s the most important,” Rognli said, “we’ll tackle all the material damage eventually.”

The flash flooding was blamed on the sudden, heavy rain combined with a sharp rise in temperatures that quickly melted snow in nearby mountains. Meteorologist Geir Bøyum said the heavy rain set a record for a single day in July, with 60 millimeters falling in the space of 12 hours.

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