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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Storms and flooding halt trains, ferries

More stormy weather and high tides set off flooding that forced closure of train stations in Drammen and Halden on Monday. Strong winds and high seas also halted ferries all over Southern Norway, where mountain roads also had to close.

The river running through Drammen rose so high that tracks were submerged at the train station that serves as a major hub, not least for commuters. All rail service was halted between Gulskogen and Brakerøya, with buses brought in as an alternative for stranded passengers.

The situation was much the same in Halden, south of Oslo, where flooded tracks forced cancellation of rail service between Halden and Sarpsborg. Extremely high sea levels were also reported all along the Oslo Fjord, with flooding in Fredrikstad and Sandefjord, for example, and south to Porsgrunn and Arendal.

State broadcaster NRK reported that key mountain passes were closed by strong winds and blizzard-like conditions including the main E134 highway over Haukelifjell, RV13 over Vika Fjellet, RV 53 Årdal-Tyen and FV50 Hol-Aurland. Rain that fell on icy roads also made driving particularly hazardous not least in Telemark, where even a maintenance vehicle out salting the road between Bø and Lunde slid into a ditch and toppled over. Emergency vehicles sent to assist also ran into trouble, including a tow truck. The road was closed for several hours.

The troublesome weather hit just as schools all over southeastern Norway plus Finnmark and and Troms in the north are closed for winter holiday week. That always sends thousands of families to the mountains for skiing, but it was raining many places instead. staff



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