New land for flood victims

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Local authorities will offer new and safer land to families in the Kvam district who lost their homes in last month’s flood disaster. On Tuesday, local leaders toured the area, promising to waste no time in deciding on new property development.

“It’s hard to set a firm deadline, but we hope to get going before the summer vacation, during the course of June, said Olav Røssum, who is mayor of Nord-Fron, the municipality in Gudbrandsdalen valley to which Kvam belongs. The tiny community of Kvam was one of the hardest hit during the flood.

Røssum said the authorities could decide to use areas which have been earmarked earlier for residential use, but not yet developed. Those areas include both privately owned and government-owned land, which “should be safe to settle in”, the mayor told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

The violent flooding in late May was the second disaster of its kind in just two years, and several families have expressed their wish to move away from the exposed areas. Some had just completed rebuilding their home  when the water returned. One resident said he had asked for a new place to settle back in 2011, but authorities had not been forthcoming at the time.

Røssum provided no details of how the new land development will be paid for. It remained unclear why authorities approved rebuilding of homes in those areas in the first place.

newsinenglish.no staff