Norway’s southwestern counties of Hordaland and Rogaland have had a disappointing summer, with lots of pouring rain and, now, flooding. Traffic was backed up for lengthy periods on the main E39 highway at Randaberg on Thursday after the flooding also closed important tunnels.
State broadcaster NRK reported that the E39 Byfjord tunnel and the Mastrafjortunnel were closed for hours because of flooding set off by powerful rainstorms. Several other roads also had problems, while tourists were left facing yet another extremely wet day,
As Bergen was reporting yet another record for rainfall, the state meteorological institute warned there was still more rain in the forecast, from the Bergen area south beyond Stavanger.
Emergency crews, meanwhile, were pumping water out of cellars at Rennesøy, and some campers needed help towing their camping vans out of flooded fields where they’d been parked. Firefighters who also come to the rescue in such situations reported that they faced a long list of jobs all afternoon and evening on Thursday.
By Friday some floodwaters were receding but even long-time residents were taken aback by the rain and flooding. “We have heard about the phenomenom called ‘rain bombs’ and think we must have experienced one,” Øyvind Steira Mikkelsen, among those sitting in long lines of stranded motorists, told NRK. “When we drove south over Karmøy, it was raining so hard that the windshield wipers couldn’t handle it. We’ve never seen anything like it.”