Cellars were flooded, roads closed and a day care center was evacuated after Bergen and much of the West Coast was hit by another torrential rain storm that continued through the night. Police and city officials were overwhelmed, even in a city accustomed to lots of rain.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” John Magnus Birkeland, operations leader for the fire and rescue service in Bergen, told state broadcaster NRK. The city’s sewer and drainage systems couldn’t handle the massive amounts of water pouring from the skies, leaving underground pedestrian corridors under Danmarks plass flooded and impassable as well.
Water flooded into homes, parking garages and businesses, with the “decidedly most calls for help” coming from Bergen but also from neighbouring Lindås and Os. Meland in Nordhordland was also hit hard. Authorities remained worried that saturated hillsides would give way, raising the threat of landslides. One hit in Samnanger Wednesday morning, trapping at least one car.
Rivers and creeks were also flowing over their banks and the Stongafjell tunnel in Askøy was closed. Motorists were also warned of flooding on the E39 highway near the Hordvik tunnel.
A day care center in Masfjorden was evacuated Wednesday morning when engineers feared a nearby crane used to restore a bridge would fall. The heavy rain loosened the earth around it and the operator could not guarantee that it would be firm enough to keep the crane upright.