Bad weather is reigning: – Virtually all of Finnmark is isolated
Several mountain crossings and a number of lesser roads in Finnmark and Troms are closed due to avalanches and bad weather. Several hamlets and fishing villages are isolated.
In Finnmark, the European route 6 (E6) was closed between Langfjordbotten and Alta in Finnmark after an avalanche night before Thursday, writes iFinnmark. Many had to spend the night in their cars before the road was reopened on Thursday afternoon, NRK writes.
The E6 at Sennalandet and Hatter was also closed on Thursday morning; therefore all the mountain crossings in Finnmark were unavailable. At the peak, 39 routes were closed.
– Virtually all of Finnmark is isolated. There is bad weather and danger of avalanches and in some places there has been an avalanche already. There is naturally a heightened demand on geologists and avalanche experts when the situation is the way it is. It’s a bit over the top right now, with so many closed roads at the same time, Traffic Operator at The Road Authority (VTS), Bente Nyland, tells iFinnmark on Thursday morning.
After extensive clearing of the roads and assessments on danger of avalanches, weather and wind, the situation has improved somewhat in the afternoon. E6 at Sennalandet and Hatter are reopened for convoys, and the same goes for some lesser county roads.
At least twelve routes will however remain closed until Friday, according to the assessment from the Norwegian Road Authority.
Evacuated in Troms
According to the Road Administration, the E6 at Kvænangsfjellet and seven county roads in Troms are still closed as a result of storms, avalanches or danger of avalanches. Among them is the road to the hamlet of Oldervik, where 23 were evacuated by boat due to a large avalanche at 7 pm on Wednesday, which blocked the only road in and severed the electrical supply.
– This is a voluntary evacuation. Some have chosen to be evacuated because they live in areas that give cause for concern with regard to avalanches, while others are evacuated due to the power out, says Operations Manager in the Troms Police District, Kåre Munkvold.
The Road authority states that the process of clearing the road will not start on Thursday due to the danger of further avalanches. An assessment of the situation will be made around 11 am on Good Friday.
It is still heightened danger of avalanches and it is snowing heavily in the area, according to avalanche expert at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Øyvind Høydal.
– There is high danger of avalanches through the next few couple of days. There are still areas in the mountain slopes leading to Oldervik which must be passed in order to clear the road, that are very prone to avalanches. In order to reduce the risk of avalanches, they must either occur, be induced or the conditions must stabilize over time. How long this can take is almost impossible to say, says Høydal.
Food trouble at the North Cape
Among the areas the weather has hit the hardest is the North Cape (Nordkapp) municipality, where several roads have been closed since the end of last week. At least five routes in and around the municipality will continue to be closed until Friday.
Several fishing villages and hamlets in the municipality have been completely isolated for a long period of time, and the bad weather has also led to problems with the food supply, according to NRK.
The North Cape municipality has solved the problem of closed roads and bad weather that stores will be flexible during the Easter high season, advises Raymond Robertsen.
– The roads are kept open if convoys are formed. Local fishermen and others have shipped food to those who live there as well, says Robertsen.
The Meteorological Institute has sent out forecast warnings for parts of Finnmark and Troms due to heavy snowfall, strong winds and drifting snow.
On Thursday a forecast warning for western parts of Finnmark was published on yr.no.
– It’s going to reach windlevels corresponding to a small storm. There is a lot of wind and bad weather in places. The weather is erratic and all the closed roads are not likely going to be reopened today, says Meteorologist Rune Skoglund to NRK.
He adds that the bad weather will lessen considerably throughout the day and onward.
In Western Finnmark, North Troms, Lyngen, Tromsø and Inner parts of Troms, an avalanche danger warning of level four has been issued for Thursday.
Increased danger of avalanches in Nordland
On Saturday, danger of avalanches increases in several areas of Nordland.
According to varsom.no, danger of avalanches increases Saturday from level 3 (significant) to 4 (great) in the Ofoten, Salten and Svartisen areas. In Tromsø, Lyngen, Northern Troms and Western Finnmark, the danger of avalanches remains at level 4 for the next couple of days.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today