This winter’s enormous amounts of snow in both the mountains and the valleys have led to such severe flood danger this spring that authorities have begun tapping Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa. The idea is to boost capacity in Mjøsa for the spring run-off.
Southern and Eastern Norway have had the most snow in years, and cold temperatures have kept it piled up through March. That further increases the danger of major floods, when it all starts melting just as spring rains begin as well.
The state agency in charge of waterways and energy (NVE) is thus urging both local officials and the public at large to prepare for massive amounts of water by making sure drainage canals, gutters, pipes and sewer openings are clear.
To reduce the pressure on rivers flowing into and out of Lake Mjøsa, newspaper Nationen reported that it’s being tapped now for as much water as possible. Its water level will be restored when the melt begins. Reservoirs located above Mjøsa are also being tapped, so they can absorb more of the melting snow and ice.
Trøndelag and much of Northern Norway, apart from Finnmark, have had less snow than normal this year, reducing local flood danger. Sørlandet in the south and Østlandet in the east, however, have been warned to brace for an onslaught.