Thousands of households and holiday homes experienced frequent and lengthy power failures this week, after lots of heavy wet snow fell all over southeastern Norway. More than 60 homes in Østre Toten were without electricity for 44 hours, while romjul holidays were spoiled for lots of those taking time off at holiday cabins.
That’s because a loss of electricity also can mean a loss of water for those relying on electric pumps. In some cases, the loss of fans that are a critical part of indoor “dry toilet” systems can force evacuation because of the ensuing odor.
Utility companies including Elvia in Viken and Glittre Energi in Hadeland blamed the sudden onslaught of up to a meter of snow in some areas, which toppled trees and tore down power lines. Glitre sent out no less than nine text messages to customers without power in the Mylla area of Nordmarka alone between Monday and Wednesday, apologizing for the power failures and offering status reports on repair progress, or lack thereof. In one case, a power failure that began at 4am Wednesday was due to continue well into Thursday, and came on top of four others earlier in the week.
“All the problems we’re dealing with are time-consuming, so the hours go quickly when we’re trying to fix them,” a spokesman for Elvia told state broadcaster NRK. Others warned that more extreme weather in the future can mean more frequent power outages. “We’re doing all we can to prevent them, but we must unfortunately expect more of this in the years ahead,” said Cecilie Gregersen of Elvia.