Floodwaters destroy homes in Western Norway
The most severe flooding in decades washed away roads and houses in Odda, Voss, Aurland-Flåm, and Lærdal
NRK / Aftenposten
In Western Norway, floodwaters are slowly receding, revealing massive destruction of homes and infrastructure in the region. Many of those evacuated will soon be able to move back to their homes, but many have no home to move back to.
A number of houses were swept away by swollen rivers, while others collapsed when foundations were washed away. Roads, bridges, and electricity supply were also damaged. Much farmland has also been washed away or destroyed by sand and gravel.
The torrential rain over Western Norway the last couple of days has led to extreme flooding in many areas, washing out roadbeds, bridges and farmland. In Odda, five homes have been swept away by the swollen river.
At Flåm in Sogn og Fjordane county, several hundred people have been evacuated from their homes. Across the region, isolated hamlets and farms have also been evacuated, as smaller rivers burst their banks and block local roads.
By Wednesday morning, October 29, there were no reports of injuries, but damage to property and infrastructure is considerable. Many areas are without electricity including up to 900 homes.
It will take a long time to restore infrastructure, and many will not be able to rebuild homes on the present site.
All agree that quick evacuation orders prevented loss of life.
On Saturday, November 1, Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited four of the West Coast municipalities that were hardest hit by the extreme flooding earlier in the week: Odda, Voss, Aurland-Flåm, and Lærdal.
Solberg has promised emergency state funds to rebuild public infrastructure destroyed by the floodwaters.
This article originally appeared in the Nov. 7, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.