Strong winds battered Norway from north to south on Sunday, accompanied by rain that turned snow to treacherous ice. Damage reports were streaming in, while most mountain passes were closed and ferries cancelled.
“It’s just terrible weather today,” state meteorologist Geir Ottar Fagerlid told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) as the strong winds that began during the night continued to roar and cause trouble from Oslo to Tromsø and beyond. Several flights had to abort landings and thousands were without electricity Sunday afternoon in Oslo, Viken, Vestfold and Telemark.
‘Just stay indoors’
“Sunday is usually a popular day to head outdoors but today I think folks should just stay indoors,” Fagerlid added, noting that he and his colleagues measured winds of 35-meters per second at Kråkenes and 33 meters per second at Feidje. “It’s also raining hard in western- and southern Norway and the precipitation is moving east.”
By midday visibility in the mountains was extremely poor because of the stormy weather and strong winds that threatened to blow vehicles off the roads. State highways RV7 over Hardangervidda, RV52 over Hemsedalsfjellet, FV27 over Venagygdsfjellet and FV 37 over Rauland were all closed. Convoy driving was being organized on the main E134 highway connecting the west coast with eastern Norway, while the E16 over Filefjell remained open with severe weather warnings posted.
Avalanche warnings were also posted from Agder in the southeast to Hordaland, especially in the areas around Voss, Hardanger and Heiane. Several bridges were closed including the bridge to Karmøy north of Stavanger.
High tides and flood warnings for Monday
Police in Arendal reported that portions of the Sam Eyde High School were blown off by the wind, damaging four cars parked nearby. Ferries running between Horten and Moss south of Oslo were cancelled over a rough and stormy Oslofjord, and Color Line cancelled several of its routes between Norway and Denmark.
Trees were also blown over from Sørkedalen in Oslo to Åsane in the Bergen areas. causing several of the power outages as they tore down power lines. Mobile phone coverage was also down in the area between Filefjell and Fagernes in the mountains.
Winds were due to die down Sunday evening but more rain and unusually high tides were due on Monday, with flood warnings up in several coastal areas.