Strong winds and heavy rain hammered the western parts of Norway through the weekend, paralyzing ferry services and shutting down bridges and highways in several areas. Meteorologists warned that the worst may be yet to come, with extreme rain and increasing danger of landslides in exposed areas.
The key E16 highway between the eastern and western parts of the country, was closed in Voss municipality on Sunday evening as rainwater flooded the road. Several media reports compared the highway to a lake, Traffic officials and police sources said the road could be closed for days, and recommended travelers between east and west to head for highway 7 across the Hardangervidda or the E134 via the Haukelifjell mountain range.
Throughout Sunday, motorists were told to prepare for sudden ferry service interruptions on the west coast as ferries sometimes were unable to dock beacuse of extreme wind.
According to meteorologist Arnstein Tjøsteheim of the West Norway weather forecasting unit (Vervarslinga på Vestlandet), wind gusts up to 45 meters per second were recorded at Kråkenes lighthouse in Sogn og Fjordane county.
Also on Sunday, a 60 meter long scaffolding raised to build a six-storey shopping centre in Åsane near Bergen fell victim to the wind.
“We realized that something would happen a couple of hours before it collapsed,” project manager Arve Sande of building firm Consto Bergen told newspaper Bergens Tidende.
“We evacuated the workers and sealed off the area. Then we stood watching as the wind caught the top of the scaffolding and dragged it all to the ground.”
The rough weather could ble felt in the east, too, with autumn leaves flying horizontally through Oslo’s streets and fallen trees blocking roads i in many places. Near Oslo’s central railway station, building materials weere flying in the wind as a storage was destroyed. For Monday, meteorologists forecasted winds at least as strong as those that hit the capital om Sunday.