Winter storm batters the southwest

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Most mountain roads were closed, ferries cancelled and traffic halted over bridges Tuesday night as a severe winter storm slammed into the west coast and blew far inland as well. Bergen’s famed Fløibanen funicular was halted when it collided with a tree that fell over the tracks.

Strong winds and snow cut visibility in many areas down to a meter. Almost all mountain passes between eastern and western Norway were closed as was the busy E6 over the Dovre Mountains farther to the west. The wind at Oppdal just east of Dovre was clocked at 115km an hour.

Police were urging residents to stay home and not attempt any travel. The closure of the important E6 highway over Dovre forced vehicular traffic that had ventured out over to RV3 through Østerdalen. Highways over Hardangervidda, Hemsedalsfjellet, Valdresflye, Strynefjellet, Vikafjellet, Venabygdsfjellet were all closed while others were reduced to driving only with organized convoys.

Hurricane-force winds hit the west coast from Bergen to Nordfjord, and helicopter traffic out to North Sea oil platforms was suspended because of the weather. Around 850 workers in Bergen and Florø couldn’t report for work.

newsinenglish.no staff