Stryn mayor believes Utvik will rise again
Idyllic Utvik will rise in splendor after Monday’s devastating flood, believes mayor in Stryn municipality, Sven Flo.
– I strongly believe that Utvik will rise again. Those who live there are wonderful people with a good heart, says Flo to NTB.
On Monday severe storms caused that both rivers flowing through the idyllic village near Innvikfjorden went over their banks and tore with them houses, bridges and roads. Thus, the small village in Stryn municipality is completely isolated. Also power and water supplies are cut.
Most of the village’s 250 inhabitants have however chosen to stay. Four households are still evacuated because it is not yet considered safe to move back.
– Most have provided alternative housing by themselves, Flo states.
On Tuesday, parts of the power supply came back in place, while working full blast to resupply the village with water. Additionally, in cooperation with the Red Cross, the municipality has put boats in service so that people can come to and from Utvik.
Stryn’s municipal council held a crisis meeting Tuesday morning. After that the Mayor and Technical Manager went to Utvik to view the damage. There they meet with representatives from the County Governor, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) in order to get an overview of the damage and distribute the tasks connected to the cleanup work.
How large values that have been lost, it is currently impossible to estimate, according to Flo.
– The damage is enormous, he says.
New river run
A new river run is now being made for Storelva in the center of Utvik.
– Our first priority is to define the course of the river once again. Two diggers are working on that. Then we have to make a continuous assessment of the cleanup work, says Svein Arne Vågane, acting regional manager in NVE, to NTB.
Despite the fact that the river has retracted a lot, and the weather forecasts are good, the flood has led to problematic accessibility in several parts of the county.
– Storelva has taken a bridge on County Road 60. The bridges to Førde are closed. There is no road access to either Førde or Stryn. The Road Authority (Vegvesenet) does a great job there, but it will take time, Vågane explains.
In addition to Utvik, Sandane and Breim in Gloppen municipality are particularly affected by the flood. All the three settlements are located in Sogn og Fjordane. Vågane is going to visit Breim and Sandane on Tuesday afternoon, but believes that the damages there are less than in Utvik.
A revised Utvik
At the cafe in Utvik, Rosa Lie receives those who are in need of food and a roof over their heads.
– We have an open door for everyone. We serve breakfast from 9 am and we also serve dinner, the cafe host says to NRK.
Those who have suffered damage to house and property are keen to rebuild what has been lost.
– We have to shape a new Utvik based on the new river run, with a twice as big river running through the center of Utvik, says Tanja Hage. She is prepared to rebuild the village. Her house is still standing, but the garden is washed away.
The Norwegian Roads Administration builds a temporary bridge in Utvik
It is work in progress on a temporary bridge where Storelva Bridge used to be in Utvik, so that the village regains a road connection. The bridge building will take days.
The temporary bridge will be built on the Stryn side of Utvik, writes Firda. On Monday storms and flooding led to that both roads leading into the small settlement in Sogn og Fjordane were destroyed.
– Today we will work to prepare and make it clear to get a temporary bridge where Storelva bridge used to be, so that the village is reconnected and so that people in Utvik can get to Stryn. We hope to put the bridge in place in a few days, says Kai Jonny Bugjerde to the newspaper.
The other road leading into the village, county road 60 over the Utvik Mountain, will probably take several weeks to re-open.
– Here is another bridge is gone, in addition to the fact that the river has washed away much of the road, says Bugjerde.
The missing road link has hampered the cleanup work and prevented the aid from reaching around 250 inhabitants. On Tuesday, parts of the power supply came in place; while it was continuous work going on to supply the village with water.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today