Record amounts of snow in the mountains of Norway from north to south could set off destructive flooding when the spring melting period sets in. As if the Corona crisis wasn’t enough, state officials are now warning residents of low-lying areas and along rivers to prepare for the worst.
“We’re talking about the type of spring flooding that can seriously damage infrastructure and lots of property,” Inger Karin Engen, a hydrologist at the state waterways and energy agency NVE, told state broadcaster NRK on Monday.
A new analysis by NVE sets flood danger at the orange level, just under red alert. Heavy snowfall in Northern Norway all winter long puts the counties of Nordland and Troms og Finnmark at the highest risk, but flooding can also occur in southern portions of the country.
Even though there was little or no snow at low elevations during the winter, which also ranked as the warmest in years, snow pack in the mountains south and west of Dovre is deep and high in water content. That raises the risk of flooding in valleys such as Gudbrandsdalen and farther south.