Police were urging residents all along the West Coast and especially in Helgeland to stay indoors, after the extreme weather system known as Frank roared in on Thursday. Many mountain roads were also closed and winds were strong as far south as Oslo and beyond.
“It’s hardly possible to stand upright out there,” Ole Håkon Reiersølmoen, a teacher and administrator at the Helgeland Folkeskole in Vefsn, told state broadcaster NRK. “Right now I’d say it’s extremely dangerous to be outside.”
The storm blew roofing off the school’s main building while also overturning heavy trucks on the E6 highway that runs through Nordland County. Winds were clocked at hurricane force, resulting in cancellation of all ferries among the many islands along the Helgeland Coast. Roads, bridges and airports closed as well.
The storm came unusually from the east instead of in from the sea to the west. Trøndelag was also being hit hard, while wind and rain also swept through the mountains and south to Østlandet. Heavy rain poured down in Oslo and there were widespread reports of power outages, including in the mountain ski center of Hemsedal, where 4,400 customers were without electricity Thursday afternoon.