Residents near Norway’s largest lake in southeastern Norway have been given a temporary reprieve from severe flooding affecting large parts of the country
Earlier this week it was feared Lake Mjøsa in Gudbrandsdalen could swamp local properties in Gjøvik and Hamar and the town’s famous Viking Ship Olympic stadium, following torrential rains and melting snow that started just before last weekend.
The devastating floods currently hitting the country have already killed one person and forced hundreds of people to be evacuated.
Water and landslides have also washed away a number of houses and roads on Østlandet, and closed parts of rail links Dovrebanen and Raumbanen as well as the E6 motorway through Gudbrandsdalen and the Riksvei 3 main road in Hedmark and Oppland through Østerdalen.
Southern Norway is believed to have suffered the equivalent flooding that happens every 50 years, while record temperatures of 30C have been recorded in the north of the country.
Deputy Mayor of Hamar Christel Meyer says the town has storage facilities with 5,000 sandbags and many residents are prepared with pumps to drain their cellars.
However, as experts warn of clay slides, the danger of flooding is far from over. Water levels continue to rise in lake Mjøsa, with more heavy rain forecast for the weekend and the whole of next week.
“The lake is slow, and water levels can remain high over a long period of time. Water is rising slowly and it could take just as long for it to subside,” Ingeborg Kleivane, hydrologist at the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) tells VG.
The Directorate’s maps of zones to flooding can be found here.
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