Heavy rain and melting snow set off flooding during the weekend that had been warned since rivers and creeks started rising in both Northern and Southern Norway. Several residents of Melhus in Trøndelag faced stinky problems on Monday, after also being abruptly evacuated during the night.
Sudden, heavy rain on Sunday is blamed for the flooding at Kvål in Melhus, south of Trondheim, that forced the evacuations of around 40 people in the middle of the night. Seven houses were badly damaged by water and sewage that backed up and flowed into the homes through drains and toilets.
Returning to a mess
Geologists determined early Monday that it was safe for residents to return to their homes, but Rune Svorkås, for example, was met with a flooded cellar, mud and sewage that overflowed into all its rooms.
“It was a torrential downpour,” Svorkås told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “I saw that water was coming up from the drains and ran around trying to save things in the cellar. But then I looked outside, and I saw water flooding over the yard, too. The drainage and sewage pipes had clogged, and I got all the sewage in the cellar.
Local officials were fending off criticism Monday that the area’s sewage pipes aren’t adequately dimensioned to handle a downpour. “It was rather extraordinary that so much rain came so quickly,” responded Melhus’ top administrator, Katrine Lereggen. “But we have to go through what happened and do what we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Sudden snow melt
Most of Southern Norway was chilly and drenched in weekend rain that stretched north to the central areas of the country. Geologists and waterways officials had thought the worst was over by late Sunday, and lowered their flood warning levels.
In Northern Norway, meanwhile, a sudden period of warm weather is causing rapid snow and ice melt that’s also been raising flood concerns. Officials in Nordland County, however, lowered warning levels as well on Sunday.