Residents of Northern Norway had to deal with a stormy beginning to the New Year, with hurricane-force winds blowing two buses off the road and disrupting traffic from Helgeland and Saltfjellet north to Troms. Roads covered with an icy glaze also caused problems farther south.
One of the buses that tipped over on its right side in Vesterålen contained 22 tourists from Italy, all of whom were trapped inside until emergency crews arrived. All were eventually rescued at the scene on the E10 highway near Hadsel, with some complaining of neck pain. The other bus was blown off a country road FV81 in Hamarøy, but there were no passengers on board.
State meteorologists warned of rain freezing on roads all over Nordland through Monday, and called on motorists to be “extra careful” if they had to drive anywhere. Winds were so strong in many areas that police reported it was almost impossible to stand upright. All bus traffic around Lofoten was suspended and many roads and bridges were closed. Motorists as far south as Skien also faced icy roads, with several motorists losing control of their cars and sliding into ditches.