Storm grounds oil rig helicopters

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Another major late summer storm halted most helicopter traffic beween Norway’s West Coast and its oil rigs in the North Sea on Friday. State meteorologists were also warning of flooding because of all the heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning.

Morten Eek, spokesman for state oil company Equinor’s offshore installations, reported up to 300 lightning strikes a minute as the remains of the storm dubbed Ellen moved in from the British Isles. It was expected to hit most of Southern Norway by Friday evening with heavy rain predicted to continue into Saturday.

“This is clearly very intense weather and it means the helicopters can’t fly,” Eek told state broadcaster NRK. All those based in Bergen and Stavanger were grounded, but some were still flying from farther north in Florø and Hammerfest.

Strong winds prompted warnings to secure all outdoor furniture, trampolines, umbrellas and even barbecue grills. staff