State metorologists declared around midday on Thursday that the latest extreme weather system to hit Norway’s West Coast, known as Vidar, had topped out. Sea levels were lower than predicted, and flooding limited, but water was still causing problems in many areas.
Bergen’s historic wharf Bryggen was spared the worst-case scenarios, but sea levels rose 218 centimeters over normal before topping out. The city’s fishing museum was flooded, but meteorologists were pleasantly surprised that the flooding around the harbour area wasn’t worse.
“The water levels are below our prognoses everywhere along the coast,” Frode Hassel of the seather service Vervarslinga på Vestlandet told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “There was less wind than predicted, too, so that’s probably why water levels were lower, too.”
The abnormally high sea levels nonetheless splashed over many docks and wharves all along the West Coast, and even allowed some kayakers to paddle over them. “We were surprised the waters didn’t wash over Bryggen (in Bergen), but maybe it’s more robust than we thought.” Hassel said.
The high sea levels knowns as spring flo were still dramatic, washing over the inner waterfront at Vågen in Stavanger. Some homes were flooded at Sundet in Austrheim. The sea also rose higher than the docks at Leirvik in Stord, but not enough to even prompt nearby residents to move their cars.
Many ferries were either cancelled or delayed both Wednesday and Thursday, and the storm did cause some damage in communities along the outer Oslo fjord, with flooding also at Horten, about an hour’s drive south of Oslo.
Weather forecasts for southern Norway called for clearer skies through the weekend and colder temperatures, mostly well below the freezing point.