Many roads in Finnmark are closed after the storm that hit hard during the weekend. In addition, some sections are closed due to the risk of landslides, including the E6 on the section Nordkjosbotn – Alta.
Alta municipality states in a press release that three people have been evacuated in the Storsandnes area. The municipality states that it is due to the danger of landslides. There have been severe storms in the area in recent days.
200 people are isolated in the Altafjord after several landslides on county road 8830 between Storekorsnes and Mikkelsby on Saturday night. The landslides together form a snow mass of almost 300 meters in width.
Alta municipality says that the road can be opened no earlier than Thursday, but has now put in place two boats that can transport people to Alta. These leave Storekorsnes on Monday at 15.45 and 16.00.
There is room for 97 people on each of the boats, but no cars.
A volunteer crew from RS Vekteren is on standby in the event of an urgent medical need among those who are isolated.
May drive via Finland
Closed roads mean that Finnmark is now isolated from the rest of the country. The only way to get in or out is via Finland – but not everyone is allowed to drive across the border.
The Finnish border guard says that only those with “good reasons” are allowed into Finland. According to the police in Finnmark, this applies to people who have to travel due to work. Leisure travel does not apply.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health explains that this is an emergency situation they may find a solution to. Therefore, it is now possible to drive via Finland without having to be quarantined when you come to Norway again.
– It is not intended for anything other than this detour option that is necessary due to closed roads, says Svein Lie, director of the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
Lie says that the police and the border guard have been informed about this, but that it may be a good idea to talk to them before crossing the border into Finland.
He emphasizes that there are rules for the exception.
– Remember that there are regulations that have been introduced due to a virus that is contagious. One must keep a distance from others and take care of the hygiene requirement. Otherwise, there must be an opportunity to both go to the toilet and refuel.
The police in Finnmark say that on the Norwegian side there is the same border control as before. The difference is that more people are admitted without a quarantine requirement, due to the temporary changes.
– Right now it is the case that we let Norwegians back into Norway without quarantine. There is a lot more traffic across the border at Kivilompolo, says operations manager in the police, Bjørn Tormod Syversen.
The police in Finnmark encourage people to register their journey digitally via government websites, if you have to travel transit through Finland.
Insulated on cabin
In the heart of the Langfjord, Søren Karlstrøm is at the cabin. Europavei 6 is closed both north and south due to avalanches and the risk of landslides. He says that the fjord has been completely white all weekend, due to all the snow that has been blown down from the surrounding mountains.
– I have not experienced as much wind and as many closed roads as there have been now, says Karlstrøm.
Europavei 6 has been closed since Friday afternoon, Karlstrøm can not remember that it has been closed for so long before.
From the cabin he can look over the main river from north to south. He describes the mountain where the avalanches have gone as almost completely black, after avalanches and winds have removed the snow that lay there.
– It is as far as an assurance that where the landslide has gone, there will probably not be another.
Consequences for the air ambulance
The air ambulance service has had problems as a result of the storm. In Finnmark and Troms this is due to a lot of turbulence, while in Nordland they have had challenges with icing.
– We have had three assignments that so far have not been solved as planned. This is of course unfortunate, but the weather cannot be controlled and safety always comes first, says communications consultant in the Air Ambulance Service, Elin Åsbakk Lind.
Lind says that they have helicopter bases on standby, which have also had assignments throughout the weekend.
– The weather forecasts indicate wind and blowing snow, but no worse than that most assignments should be able to be completed, she says.
Has consequences for companies
Also in Troms, many roads are closed due to bad weather. The village Jøkelfjord in Kvænangen in Troms has been isolated since Sunday due to landslides. The avalanche went over the municipal Hamnebuktveien. Highway 7966 at Alteidet-Jøkelfjord is closed until further notice.
This leads not only to challenges for the around 70 inhabitants of the village, but also for companies. At the Mowi fish factory, production is temporarily closed. Around 30 employees do not get to work and transport that is to pick up salmon at the factory does not come in.
– Losing a day’s production is not good. These are significant sums, says Robert Jørgensen, factory manager at Mowi.
He has worked at the factory for 25 years and has never experienced that the road to work has been closed due to landslide danger.