Severe flooding has hit Notodden in the Telemark region of southern Norway, where a crisis alert has been declared and several people have been evacuated.
An estimated 100 millimeters of rain fell in a 24-hour period over the weekend. Civil defense units have been called in to aid emergency services in dealing with the floods, which have left many streets in the area under water.
Ten people, none of whom were injured, were evacuated from five residences on Sunday after their cellars were flooded. Power outages were also reported at around 50 homes on the same day.
Several roads have been closed or destroyed by water, with parts of the E134 highway washed away. The state road authority estimates that repairs will take several days.
Local railways have also been affected with what is described by many as widespread destruction, with the historic Bratsberg Line being closed in places on the weekend and Monday. The train line through Notodden itself is likely to remain closed for some time.
Magnus Mathisen, a representative of the local authority in Notodden, told newspaper Aftenpostenthat “for four to five hours, Notodden was divided in two and one of the parts was completely isolated.” The only road to an area with around 2,000 residents was apparently closed for some time. Mathisen nonetheless confirmed that “such as it is now, there is no danger to life or health” in the area. The national energy and waterways authority nonetheless expects water levels to rise slightly in the larger rivers in the region.
Flood warnings were also released for several other places in southeast and south Norway over the weekend.