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Traffic and flight delays in eastern Norway after snowy start to week

Traffic in eastern Norway is feeling the effects of heavy snowfall on Monday morning.

Traffic and flight delays in eastern Norway after snowy start to week
Illustration file photo. AFP

The snow has resulted in difficult driving conditions with several accidents confirmed by police, media including NRK and Aftenposten report.

Snowfall is also affecting air travel at Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport, with some delays to departures confirmed.

“There will be delays due to the clearing of runways and de-icing of aircraft,” the airport’s operator Avinor said to NRK via communications officer Nora Prestaasen.

Around half of departures were delayed but between 30 minutes and 1 hour on Monday morning. Passengers are nevertheless advised to arrive at the airport on schedule, Prestaasen said.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

Det kom litt snø ❄️❄️❄️ #avising #vinterinorge

A post shared by Brita Erlandsen (@britaerlandsen) on Nov 11, 2019 at 2:59am PST

Traffic incidents include an overturned bus in Sørum Municipality in Akershus, while a woman was run over by a minibus which lost control in bad weather in Ullensaker, also in Akershus.

The woman, who was described by a police officer to NRK as “conscious after the accident”, was taken to hospital. The seriousness of her condition is not known at the time of writing.

The E6 motorway in the Oslo and Akershus areas was partly covered by snow, with police advising motorists to avoid non-essential journeys and busy sections if possible, while also urging patience if queuing occurs.

“Leave your car at home if you have not switched to winter tyres, adjust your speed and keep a good distance,” Oslo Police office Line Skott told NRK.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute issued weather warnings on Sunday for the Agder, Telemark, Vestfold, Østfold, Oslo, Akershus and Buskerud counties.

City traffic in Oslo was also affected by the weather, with snow from midnight on Sunday slowing things down by Monday morning.

“There are a good deal of delays to (city) bus services now,” Oslo bus operator Ruter’s press officer Knut-Martin Løken told NRK.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Vegvesen, NPRA) also advised care on the roads on Monday.

“It has snowed heavily in our region during the early hours, so roads must be gritted,” the authority’s East Norway section tweeted.

“There may therefore be queuing, including at unexpected location. Allow plenty of time for journeys and drive in accordance with conditions,” the tweet also read.

Updated traffic information can be found on the NPRA website.

READ ALSO: 'Try to embrace it': Your advice on Norway's long winter nights

WEATHER

Norway to revamp alert system to ensure tourists are aware of dangerous weather

Not enough tourists are notified of potentially treacherous conditions or dangerous weather, and a new system is being worked on, the Directorate for Social Security and Preparedness has said. 

Norway to revamp alert system to ensure tourists are aware of dangerous weather

A lot of dangerous weather warnings fail to reach the tourists who come to Norway in their droves for activity holidays or to take in the stunning scenery, according to the Directorate for Social Security and Preparedness (DSB). 

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute uses three colours for its weather warnings. The first is yellow, which means challenging weather. Then there is orange, meaning a serious situation. And finally, there is the red warning, which warns of extreme weather. 

However, in the event of a yellow warning, there is a limit to how municipalities can contact people in the area. 

“It is largely based on people having to follow along (with the situation) themselves,” the emergency manager at Vestland County, Håvard Stensvand, told public broadcaster NRK.

This means it is up to tourists and visitors to keep themselves informed of adverse weather situations, as they may only be forewarned of the most extreme conditions. 

“With the current arrangements, our experience so far indicates that it is unfortunately not possible to reach everyone with this type of information,” the acting director of the DSB told NRK. 

By the end of the year, the directorate hopes to implement a new system using different technology that will send all phones connected to the nearby mobile network a message warning of the weather. 

Some local authorities had raised concerns that the current system meant that alerts were only sent to the phone registered to residents in the area

The new system should then ensure those visiting the area will also be warned about potentially dangerous conditions. 

Where to check for weather warnings

The most popular service for checking the weather in Norway is “Yr” The service is run by the Meteorological Institute and NRK. 

You can either head to the website or download the app on IOS or Android to use the service. 

You will receive warnings of adverse weather conditions there. On the website, you can check specifically to see whether there are any weather warnings across Norway. You can also get an overview of weather warnings and report any adverse conditions yourself on varsom.no

If you are in area with a lot of tourism, it is worth also checking with the local tourist office, due to their specialised knowledge of the local area. 

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