Torrential rain causes road closures, evacuations and damage across Norway

Severe weather caused havoc across Norway on Sunday and Monday, with property and roads damaged and traffic delays in several areas.

Torrential rain causes road closures, evacuations and damage across Norway
File photo of the E6 in Gudbrandsdalen. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

The E6 motorway in Norway’s Gudbrandsdalen region between the towns of Kvam and Frya was closed for several hours on Monday morning after a downpour of up to 70mm of rain.

A bridge also collapsed in the Sogn og Fjordane county, making evacuations necessary, reports broadcaster NRK.

Weather conditions were treacherous in both the eastern and western parts of southern Norway during the morning, according to the report.

The E39 road was also closed near the (Hornindalsvatnet) lake, but has now been reopened, while the E6 closure is expected to cause traffic problems throughout the day.

After water broke through a local road near the village of Harpefoss, a dam was created above the E6. Authorities then had to work to prevent water breaking through and flooding the motorway, according to the report.

 “Two excavators are working at the scene to keep the situation in check and experts are on their way to assess how best to manage it,” press officer Øystein Skotte of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens vegvesen) told NRK.

The E6 opened again at 12:15pm, according to NRK's report.

“70 millimetres of rain fell during the night and it has had serious results for local roads,” maintenance operator Tom Erik Amundsen of the Sør-Fron municipality told NRK.

Sogn og Fjordane county suffered extensive localised damage, with houses flooded and smaller buildings, including a garage, washed into the fjord.

A flooded river has also destroyed a bridge and closed off local road 60.

A thunderstorm Sunday afternoon saw damage to Tronfjellveien, Norway’s highest road, which leads to the Tronfjellet mountain in Hedmark.

Metre-deep holes in the road appeared after the storm, according to the report.

“The road looks rough. Huge stones have been dislodged and there is not a metre of road clear up to the top,” witness Jarle Tronslien told NRK.


Partial lunar eclipse to be visible over parts of Norway

People in parts of Norway may be able to witness a partial lunar eclipse on Friday. 

Pictured is a lunar eclipse
Friday will see a partial lunar eclipse over Norway. Pictured is a lunar eclipse. Photo by Roger Starnes Sr on Unsplash

On Friday morning, the sun, the earth and the moon will align, causing a partial lunar eclipse. Friday’s celestial showcase will be an almost total lunar eclipse, with only a tiny part of the moon not ending up in the earth’s shadow. 

The eclipse will be most visible at 10:03am, when 98 percent of the moon will be in shadow. 

The moon will take on a reddish tinge as sunlight that passes through the earth’s atmosphere will be refracted back onto the moon. 

People in the north of Norway will have the best eclipse experience because the moon doesn’t go down until later in the morning at higher latitudes. The weather will also be better further north, according to forecasts. 

Residents of east and west Norway hoping for a show may have their views hindered by clouds. 

“If you are lucky, you’ll be able to see it from several parts of the country,” Randveig Eikhild from the Meteorological Institute told public broadcaster NRK

The best place to see the eclipse will be somewhere with a good clear view of the horizon, without mountains, hills or buildings in the way. 

For those in the south, where the view may not be the best due to the brighter mornings, there’s another celestial event on Friday that they will be able to witness. 

Once the sun goes down, gas giants Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the night sky and very close together. Saturn won’t be visible from the north, however. 

“Jupiter and Saturn are quite close to each other and are beautiful in the fall. However, they are not always as close as they are now. It can be a very nice sight,” Pål Brekke, from the Norwegian Space Centre, explained to NRK.