Dam in Norway Suffers Partial Breach

Dam in Norway Suffers Partial Breach

After days of non-stop heavy rainfall, a dam in southern Norway partially gave way on Wednesday. Authorities had actually been considering a controlled explosion to prevent downstream towns from getting flooded. But that plan was dropped when water started leaking through a gap in the dam’s concrete wall.

This dam is on Glåma, which happens to be Norway’s longest river. It’s connected to the Braskereidfoss hydroelectric power station, which is now underwater and not working. A ton of water poured over the western part of the concrete wall, according to Fredrik Thomson, a police spokesperson. He mentioned they were hoping for a more even spread of the water and were keeping a close eye on things.

Per Storm-Mathisen, who speaks for the company running the power plant, Hafslund Eco, said the water distribution seemed to be going fine. But here’s the catch – the drains in the power plant that should have automatically opened when there’s too much water didn’t work as they were supposed to. Nobody knows why yet. The escaping water wrecked a road and the fences on top of the dam. Luckily, they managed to evacuate about 1,000 people who lived nearby before the dam gave in.

In other parts of southern Norway, lots of people had to leave their homes. Like, more than 600 people were evacuated north of Oslo, and thousands are sitting in the dark without electricity. The whole situation is still pretty confusing and crazy.

The water protection authority got all serious and bumped up the landslide warning from orange to red, and they also threw in a flooding warning. The weather folks said there’s more heavy rain coming, like seriously heavy, and they hit the highest warning level on that. They’re talking major business here – the situation is super serious and could mess things up big time.

The area around the Drammenselva river to the west of Oslo is a real mess. Water levels have shot up like crazy. All the major highways between Oslo and the third biggest city, Trondheim, are totally closed.

There’s some heartbreaking news too. A sweet elderly lady from Norway lost her life on Wednesday morning. She fell into a river the day before and managed to get back to shore. But because of the flooding, she couldn’t get to the hospital for hours, and sadly, she passed away there.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway went to check out the situation in the southern part of the country. He knows that when the rain finally stops, there’s still going to be a ton of work to do – dealing with all that water.

This big storm, they named it “Hans,” decided to pay Scandinavia and the Baltic States a visit. It brought a lot of heavy rain. In Sweden’s Gothenburg, parts of the port area got all watery. The Swedish weather peeps went all serious and gave a red warning for the west coast. They’re saying more crazy rain is on the way for southern Norway and Sweden. Brace yourself for some serious floods along the rivers. The weather people are scratching their heads because it’s not normal for it to rain this much and this hard during summer. Erik Höjgård-Olsen from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute said this “Hans” character is really something else – bringing days of non-stop rain is definitely not the usual. Read more.

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