The exceptionally powerful thunderstorm brought heavy rainfall and hail with intense thunder and lightning as it moved to Norway from Sweden on Monday afternoon.
In Kongsvinger, Hedmark, trees literally flew through the air and hail as big as golf balls smashed into the ground and caused serious damage to several cars, reported NRK.
Kjell Snerten drove from Rendalen south toward Åmot on Monday afternoon. He said: “It sounded like the car was shot at by someone with a machine gun.”
Thousands of residents lost power in the south-east of Norway, in Hedmark and in North-Trøndelag, said VG.
On Monday evening lightning struck around 5,400 times per hour, and meteorology research station SINTEF registered more than 165,000 lightning strikes over northern Europe at 11pm on Monday evening, covering a 20-hour period.
SINTEF researcher Frank Dahlslett said to VG: “There has been an incredible amount of lightning strikes. It is close to breaking a record.“
In Nordland lightning strikes led to both power losses and a grass fire in Salten, resulting in a shed being completely burned down. “Avisa Nordland” reports that lightning struck a high-voltaged power cable and started the fire.
In Namsskogan, North-Trøndelag, a holiday home caught fire on Monday evening. The two people staying in the house put out the flames before the fire department arrived. According to “Adresseavisen” the fire department believed a lightning strike caused the house fire.
Dovrebanen railroad was closed between Stange and Brumunddal on Monday evening after the storm felled tree onto the overhead line. The railway stretch was not opened again until after 1am on Tuesday morning.
Hedmark police chief Therese Bylterud informed “Glåmdalen”, they received several calls on Monday concerning trees blocking roads. In some places in Hedmark people were trapped between trees having fallen onto the road.
On the E6 at Bergshøgda, the road was blocked also because of fallen tress. In addition, several hundred bushes were blown over roads.
The fire department in Romerike endured difficulties helping residents cope with floodwater in Lillestrøm. The 110 emergency services reported at 6.30pm on Monday that: “The fire department doesn't have the capacity [to control the flood].”
According to “Sarpsborg Arbeiderblad”, serious water damage was also reported in Halden and Sarpsborg.
The storm moved north during the afternoon, and in Namdalen, North-Trøndelag, there were reports on power loss in three places within an hour, according to “Namdalsavisa”.