Strong winds, a sudden rise in temperatures and heavy rain stirred up more trouble all over Southern Norway on Monday, most dramatically for 38 passengers on a bus over the mountains at Hemsedal. The bus flipped over, but no one was seriously injured.
It took several hours for emergency crews to free all the passengers and transport them to safety at a café in Lærdal. One of them, Petter Jonsbråten Zachariassen, told state broadcaster NRK that people landed on top of one another when the strong winds literally blew their bus off the road. He also said visibility had sunk to zero.
Monday’s stormy weather also closed airports, shut down lots of public transport and flooded extensive areas of Western Norway, including the historic wharf Bryggen in Bergen and much of Stavanger. Several small towns were isolated by avalanches and the roof of a school in Arendal collapsed under the weight of heavy snow and ice. Both it and many schools elsewhere around Southern Norway had closed for the day because of weather warnings, so no one was injured at the Asdal School in Arendal.
The train line between Oslo and Bergen had shut down in advance, and most highways over the mountains were closed Monday including the E134 over Haukelifjell and the main E6 highway over Dovrefjell.