Autumn storm ‘hit harder’ than expected

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Police along Norway’s West Coast were inundated with calls for help during the night, after hurricane-force winds slammed into the area from Bergen north to Stad and beyond. Thousands were without power Thursday morning.

Damage reports were still ticking in on Thursday, but Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) could report that the Vest Police District received 133 calls Wednesday evening when the storm that had been warned set in. The biggest problem, once again, was the wind that knocked down trees that in turn crashed into power lines, knocking them down as well.

Toppled trees also blocked roads all over the counties of Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. “The storm hit harder than we had expected, especially in Hordaland,” the operations leader for the Vest Police District, Lars Geitle, told NRK Thursday morning.

Around 19,000 households and businesses in the Bergen area were without power Wednesday evening but local power company BKK worked through the night to restore it. They were hindered by the fallen trees on roads that made them impassable, and a BKK spokesman said it would “take some time” before power was fully restored.

The strong winds ripped the roofs off some homes and barns and in one case, a  tree crashed into the roof of a house whose owner otherwise had taken precautions and secured loose items outdoors. Most local ferry routes had to be cancelled and the night train between Oslo and Bergen was halted and had to head back to Bergen because of a lack of power supply.

Southeastern Norway also experienced very strong winds and fallen trees in Østfold and Akershus counties. The sun reappeared Thursday morning and winds had died down, as insurance companies started estimating the damage and its costs.

newsinenglish.no staff